Airbrushed Make-Up Ads Featuring Julia Roberts are Banned in Britain

Julia RobertsMost people are so used to airbrushed advertisements that they don’t even give them a second thought. But Britain has decided to take a stand against such ads – last week the country’s Advertising Standards Agency banned Maybelline and Lancome ads featuring Julia Roberts and Christy Turlington.

The ASA found that the magazine ads (see pics at left) were misleading, and exaggerated the ability of the products they were promoting to cover lines, wrinkles and blemishes. “On the basis of the evidence we had received we could not conclude that the ad image accurately illustrated what effect the product could achieve, and that the image had not been exaggerated by digital post production techniques,” the ASA said.

Even though L’Oreal admitted the photographs it used had been digitally manipulated and retouched, they claim the pics “accurately illustrated” the effects their make-up — Maybelline‘s The Eraser anti-ageing foundation and LancĂ´me‘s Teint Miracle –could achieve. They described the picture of Julia Roberts as an “aspirational picture.”

The ban was sparked by Jo Swinson, an activist who campaigns against the use of unrealistic images in fashion and advertising.

Kudos to the ASA for sending such a strong message to advertisers and marketers. Such extensive airbrushing on ads is not only essentially selling a lie – there is no product on earth (other than Photoshop software) that can achieve the kind of flawless skin shown in these ads – but it’s also selling girls and women short, by reminding them that they’re not beautiful just the way they are. These “aspirational pictures” send the message that we should “aspire” to look like these beautiful women, even though the look they’re selling isn’t actual real. Where’s the beauty in that?

What do you think about the practice of airbrushing images?


  1. New Moon Girls Said,

    August 5, 2011 @ 11:23 am

    To us, this is a sign of progress! The world needs more people like Jo Swinson who are actually willing to do something about the messages the media is sending young girls instead of just complaining about it. Great news!

  2. Roze Said,

    September 30, 2011 @ 2:38 pm

    All airbrushing in every form of media should be banned but corporations are greedy they know the pressure from these things will keep them with their BILLIONS spent on cosmetics. For shame. What kind of society are we becoming placing such extreme value on this shallowness? The world gets ever worse. The American empire shall fall as Rome, as all societies built on lies, on brutality, on patriarchy, on ignorance, on oppression, enslavement & violence. Let us only hope a finer class of humans shall be rought from the fall. I think all humanity is doomed really, losing the game by pure stupidity. Slay your kin will you? Than all humanity’s hands will be tinged in blood. In the name of freedom we swim in an ocean of blood, slavery and impurity and this is my dreary outlook on life as it is and my definition of realistic.

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