Photoshop Fail: UK Bans Julia Roberts and Christy Turlington’s Airbrushed Beauty Ads

Advertising & Marketing / Beauty / August 4, 2011

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L’Oréal’s ad campaign for Lancôme with Julia Roberts.

We all know that fashion ads are airbrushed.

Beautifully coiffed models after all, represent a perfection and beauty that we aspire to attain for ourselves. And while some great airbrushing can take off a blemish here and there, for the most part, we believe that those girls–those Kate Mosses of the world–are natural beauties, and perhaps the airbrushing is simply a “white lie” we’re willing to accept.

Or maybe not.

If you ask Parliament member, Jo Swinson, she’ll tell you that airbrushing in fashion ads have gone too far.

In reviewing L’Oreal’s beauty ads featuring actress Julia Roberts and supermodel Christy Turlington, Swinson asserted that the ads were overly manipulated and misleading to consumers. The ads showed Roberts and Turlington promoting foundations that claimed to make women look vibrant and youthful.

The Advertising Standards Authority agreed with Swinson, citing that the airbrushed images did indeed appear to falsify the actual results of the product, and banned the ads in the U.K.

Most people would probably agree that Roberts and Turlington are natural beauties, and do not need the “extra help” that airbrushing provides.

If anything, according to Swinson, airbrushing these women sets up unrealistic expectations of beauty. “Excessive airbrushing and digital manipulation techniques have become the norm,” she said to the Guardian, “both Christy Turlington and Julia Roberts are naturally beautiful women who don’t need retouching to look great. This ban sends a powerful message to advertisers – let’s get back to reality.”

What do you think? Do you think that advertising images today set unrealistic expectations for consumers?

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Bridget Marowski
Bridget Marowski
Bridget is a writer, stylist, and vintage clothing dealer based in Kennett Square, Pennsylvania. Bridget enjoys spending time with her boyfriend and guinea pig, and in her spare time sells vintage at local flea markets . Bridget is currently obsessed with Zooey Deschanel's wardrobe on New Girl, Moroccan food, and microcars.

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Photoshop Fail: UK Bans Julia Roberts and Christy Turlington's Airbrushed Beauty Ads