Friday, December 18, 2009

Bravo England!

In recent blogs you have heard me complain about the irresponsibility and downright deceitful practices of a lot of advertising companies and manufacturers of "beauty" products for their ads. They over retouch images so people are skinnier, taller, and less wrinkly than they actually are, all to sell a product that, of course, doesn't do what is promised. Believe me I have the crows feet to prove it! But hey I earned them dam it.

Anyway, yesterday, the Advertising Standards Authority if the United Kingdom banned the complete set of Olay Twiggy ads, ruling that the post-production retouching could give consumers a "misleading impression of the effect the product could achieve." Finally someone is saying what we all have been thinking. Twiggy, the 1960's icon is now 60 years old, and looks great. No need to be excessively retouched.

Would this ban ever happen in this country? I hope so, but am not holding my breathe. As long as big corporations still stranglehold our politicians nothing will change.

In the US, we have Truth in Advertising laws. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is the main federal agency that enforces advertising laws and regulations.

Under the Federal Trade Commission Act:
* Advertising must be truthful and non-deceptive;
* Advertisers must have evidence to back up their claims; and
* Advertisements cannot be unfair.

So how is making someone skinnier, look younger, or have more hair fair?

Besides all that, what is wrong with looking your age? Yes, I am also a bit guilty of retouching images for clients. But these images are for their personal use and not to sell a product. I try to make my clients look as beautiful in photos as they are... in their heads.

When the focus of this deception is to sell a product, then there needs to be a backlash. Not only are we feeding this unattainable vision of beauty to our children, now with a simple cream we can erase years of life. So that our older generation, my generation, is now ashamed of looking their age.

Isn't it bad enough that you can get a Botox injection in a strip mall?

My wife an I recently joined a gym. We work out about 4 times a week, to get in shape and to stay healthy, longer. We do it for ourselves and each other. We want to be the best person we can without canceling out the years we have had on this planet.

Self dignity and self respect should be taught and preached. Not that you can take a short cut to self respect by changing your appearance with a cream.

So bravo England and I hope this wave of truth spreads.

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