Prettify Me

By Dulanjalee Seneviratne

Have you ever felt that commercials related to beauty products have seriously misled the women of our generation? Let’s look at some of these televisions advertisements and their products that promise to turn us into ethereal women with picture perfect features that will put even the latest edition of Photoshop to shame!

First let’s take a look at an average soap commercial that one would see on TV. We usually find a very beautiful and young woman with a lovely face and a lean figure. In the next scene, she is in a shower or at a crystal clear stream lathering up her arms up with a shiny bar of soap, which is usually followed by splashing the face with water. Well ladies, I think we all have tried at least one such advertised soap bar, and can attest to the fact that a bar of soap cannot change our persona or outer appearance. In the end, all we are left with is a half-melted bar of soap and dashed hopes.

Beauty products such as fairness creams with bleaching agents (ahem ahem) that promise to lighten our skin colour or complexion are marketed in order to enhance our outer appearance and make us beautiful. Firstly, we all need a reality check regarding our complexions. Sri Lanka being a tropical country most of us tend to have tanner skin tones. The commercials of these skin lightening products claim that this original skin colour we possess is not attractive to the opposite gender. How are our young women supposed to have any self-esteem or confidence if our media keeps brainwashing them about how ugly or unattractive they look? And how dare a mere TV commercial imply that we are not beautiful?

The very fact that a beauty product can chemically alter our natural skin tone should make us think twice about purchasing it. I am not at all against beauty products, but all I’m asking of them is to advertise their benefits accurately without trying to make us feel less than who we are. What many don’t realize are the negative and harmful effects these beauty product related commercials can have on young women. Especially in a country like Sri Lanka, we need beauty products that will measure up to reality while delivering healthy and actual results.

A lot of young women are not aware of how many makeup artists and stylists are involved in beautifying models when making these commercials. Then there is of course a separate technical team that provides eye-shattering lighting, which ensures that the people portrayed in the commercial have excellent porcelain skin. And thanks to modern technology, advertisers and beauty companies can take a step further with an ample dose of airbrushing.

Realistically speaking, how on earth are we supposed to look like a highly made-up model by using just a bar of soap, an herbal shampoo or some bleaching lotion? What we don’t need is false advertising that will lead us astray with their lies. We need real products that will provide the results that they promise. These products and their commercials should make young women feel empowered and beautiful and give them honest hope instead of making them feel worthless and insecure.

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