I was an insecure teenager growing up. I had an eating disorder and I was depressed for years until I discovered who I really am. During that season in my life I saw other girls who were trying to be closer to the preconception of perfect, battering themselves to become someone off the Internet or magazines.
The Internet, advertising and general media impacts our lives whether we know it or not. I didn’t know that as a young teenager but learning that it’s simply advertising affecting my perceptions gave me a sense of clarity that there’s nothing wrong with me.
This video shows that magazines are merely product catalogues packed full of advertising.
Advertising is everywhere and as for women, we are led to believe that we are not good enough as we are. Society’s standard for beauty is raised every single day and advertising creates an illusion that we’re only going to be beautiful when we have a certain, often expensive, product.
Some time ago, I saw a Facebook post of mine, ‘round about the time I was going to finish my degree. The post was an infographic showing how deceiving food labels can be. It urged me to share my two cents as to how sad it is that advertising and marketing all too often bend the truth to gain sales. I majored in marketing because I’ve always believed that marketing is the artistic side of business but what happens when art comes in a deceitful form? I didn’t want to be that kind of marketer, so I promised myself that I would be as honest as possible once I start to work in the industry.
It’s still true today that advertising has its way of manipulating our behaviour as individuals. As I’ve mentioned, I became insecure and I knew other girls were too – but the moment I understood that those photos are manipulated first in order to manipulate our thoughts and emotions, is the moment that I knew that there’s more than meets the eye. Hey! Even celebrities were affected by this and they’re the ones we look up to.
I want to believe that behind the façade that advertising puts up, there are some advertisers who know that there’s nothing wrong with us.
In my next blog, I'll look into a company that started an advertising campaign to empower women and how this work created a huge ripple of panic among traditional advertisers.