Glossed Over: Taking a closer look at what advertisements are really selling.
Having worked at fashion magazines (where before/after Photoshop exercises such as this litter photo department walls), I always sort of assume that everyone knows that the pictures you see in such places are all faked up. That is not the case. Last week in class, we hopped on sephora.com to check out their latest “Express Service” makeup lesson offerings, and everyone contemplated this:
I’m no expert, but I’m willing to bet good money that every one of those photos has undergone the Photoshop magic, to ensure the light hits the Perfect Pout just right, to remove any trace of redness from the Smoky Eye, and to smooth out the planes on the High-Definition Makeup model’s face. But Miss Jenny didn’t see it. “Look how flawless that foundation is!” she exclaimed.
Now Miss Jenny is an expert. She knows makeup and knows what it can and can’t do. And of course, she knows about Photoshop and it’s ability to shave away pounds and under-eye circles. But I think there’s something sort of primal about the fact that when we look at a beautiful photo, seeing is believing — and we really, really want to believe.
So it pretty much sucks that beauty advertisers seem so happy to take full advantage of that fact.