"Advertising is the art of convincing people to spend money they don't have for something they don't need." – Will Rogers

The Beauty Myth, Male Edition (Welcome Boys!)

Posted: January 30th, 2009 | Author: | Filed under: aging, body, consumerism, self-image | Tags: , , , , , , | No Comments »

WebWire: “Clinique Skin Supplies for Men launches new website Cliniqueformen.co.uk


My favorite product: NEW Age Defense Hydrator SPF 15 (see pic above, link here).

Absolute killer: the male voice-over on Clinique’s website, reciting instructions on how to use it – paraphrasing: “if you want to erase fine lines, apply it every morning.”

Boys, men, welcome to the beauty myth. Enjoy the ride.

Airbrushing Double Standard: Brad Pitt vs. Sarah Palin

Posted: January 29th, 2009 | Author: | Filed under: aging, airbrushing, corporate hypocrisy, media, print, self-image, sexism | Tags: , , , | 1 Comment »


In October 2008, Newsweek magazine put an unretouched photo of Sarah Palin (b. 1964) on its cover – which left quite a few people speechless, and the Republican camp outraged, since 99.99999 percent of photos in print media are airbrushed, to remove wrinkles, blemishes and other “imperfections” common to all human beings.

Brad Pitt (b. 1963, thus a year older than Ms. Palin), recently grazed the cover of W magazine – close up, unretouched. I didn’t see any people running for cover. Or claiming this was outrageous. To the contrary, there seems to be something valiant about Mr. Pitt’s “rebelling” against Photoshop.

Could it be that there is a gender double standard at play? When was the last time we saw an unretouched photo of a woman, close-up, on a mainstream magazine cover? I can’t possibly think of any examples…

Why should we be shocked/outraged/or downright embarrassed for a photo of a 44 year old woman with a naturally wrinkled face and not have the same reaction when it comes to a man?

(You ask me, Sarah Palin looks beautiful in that pic, and Brad Pitt looks like he belongs to a different – older – generation compared to her.)

UPDATE: 01/30

The current issue of the Atlantic Monthly has a close-up picture of President Obama (I just love saying that) on its cover. It is unretouched – and thus shows all of his face’s fine lines. I didn’t read/hear about anyone objecting to it. Again, gender double standard at play here?


The Atlanta Journal Constitution: HDTV drives search for complexion perfection

Posted: January 12th, 2009 | Author: | Filed under: ageism, aging, airbrushing, body, censorship, image manipulation, media, self-image, television | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »


Actors, models and television personalities are accustomed to leading on-air lives in soft focus. But with the advent of all-digital television next month, the stage is set for unforgiving high-definition broadcasts, and even everyday people want to look airbrushed to perfection.

In our hyper-magnified world where HDTV, HD camcorders and point-and-shoot cameras with auto-airbrushing functions are becoming the norm, a blemish here, a pockmark there or even a wisp of a wrinkle is unacceptable.

In theory, the sharper images transmitted over high-definition digital television mean the skin has to look almost perfect. Which is to say that it has to look natural, fresh and dewy, not powdery and masklike as it did in the analog days.

Full article here.