Advertisements are everywhere—on tv, in movies and in print. Companies have found new ways to market their products using technology. Mostly to their benefit and not the consumers. Photoshop showed society that too much of a good thing definitely exists.
Perfection gleamed across pages and screens so much so, that magazines had to admit that their models were heavily airbrushed(edited). Although, some of these ads were frowned upon, the culture of perfection intensified.
Recently, a model named, Shudu, made waves across Instagram. People seemed to be enthralled with her beauty and amazed at her hyper realistic features. Why? Ironically enough, because she’s not real. She was created with a computer program, making her the first digital model that we can openly identify.
The fashion and beauty industry is known for breeding perfectionism within itself; the growth of advertising and social media has greatly increased its influence. Ads are a symbol of what society deems beautiful, worthy and acceptable.
Self-esteem is directly correlated to how one sees themselves in the world. When young people and adults are constantly viewing ads, it is common to project what is being marketed inward. Suddenly it isn’t just about the shade of lipstick or the shirt with the logo on the model.
The consumer sees the features of the model: glowing perfect skin, white porcelain teeth, those long flowing locks and perfectly sculpted abs. Internalization is the unintended symptom for the consumer. Companies are counting on the individual viewing the ad wanting to emulate what they see.
Dove’s Real Beauty campaign in 2004 was aiming to counter act the photoshop dilemma in magazines. The sentiment was nice in that they focused on how real women look. They were striving to give a face to the regular mom, sister, and overworked teacher.
The ‘real beauty’ campaign still exists today for Dove and other companies, but it will forever remain the step-child of regular ads that find no fault in the perfectionists game. Artificial intelligence is sure to advance this culture and society will have to stay vigilant in reminding itself that not everything in magazines and sponsored pages is real—its just marketing.