How many times have you seen a jacket in a magazine ad that you just had to have? We both know that we see many things both in print and on television that we want to buy because we want to look like the model that is wearing the particular jacket being advertised. According to Jib Fowles, author of Advertising’s Fifteen Basic Appeals, “The desire to exhibit ourselves in such a way as to make others look at us is a primitive, insuppressible instinct” (Fowles Pg. 8).
People are made to believe that they absolutely need the item advertised because that is going to make people notice them. Clothing and cosmetic companies strive on people’s need for attention. Advertisements target young women ages 16-30 of Generation Me to buy their products in order to look the part in today’s society. They see thin models, airbrushed and makeup covered celebrities and feel the need to look exactly like that they see in the advertisement. These advertisements are also creating many problems such as eating disorders, anxiety disorders, and depression.
These young women end up spending huge amounts of money on cosmetic surgeries, rush to buy products to make them look younger or more beautiful, and purchase products marketed by celebrities all in an attempt to live up to the ideal image of today’s society. In today’s society looking beautiful and staying forever young are the newest trends among young women. Women follow this trend because they have been influenced at a young age to believe that outer beauty is everything. Many girls are introduced to Barbie at a young age, and that image of a perfect well rounded female is set in their minds for the rest of their lives.
Commercials show Barbie in her three story dream townhouse, driving her convertible, and walking her precious little dog. All of these marketing schemes make young girls believe that Barbie is perfect from head to toe and want to be and look just like her. There is one commercial that really set apart from most; it had Barbie sporting her totally stylin’ tattoos. In the Barbie’s totally stylin’ tattoo commercial, contains a catchy song that sings “B-A-R-B-I-E totally tattoo’s it’s totally me. Then the young girl says “Perfect tattoos” and it proceeds to show you how the product works, and at the end of the commercial it says “Be who you want to be, Barbie girl. ” As Jean M. Twenge mentioned throughout Chapter 3 “You Can Be Anything You Want to Be” on self esteem, this very commercial targets young women to do what you want to do, and to be who you want to be.
According to Jean M. Twenge in her book Generation Me, “Tattoo’s are no longer the sole province of bikers and sailors, but a trendy self-decoration employed by large numbers of young people, including the rich and famous” (Twenge Pg. 6). Both young girls and young women love to imitate what they see, when they see a famous celebrity rocking a butterfly on their lower back, most girls will go out to the local tattoo parlor and get the same exact butterfly tattooed onto their own lower back. Whether a trend is marketed by dolls or celebrities, young women of all ages are bound to feel the need to follow the latest trend. In the past, plastic surgery was for fixing abnormalities of the body, but in more recent times people have been altering their appearance simply because they are not happy with how they look. According to Jean M. Twenge, author of Generation Me, “We have come to equate looking good with feeling good, and to say that we should do whatever makes us feel good or makes us happy” (Twenge Pg. 94). Most young women are not pleased with their looks, have low self-esteem issues, or feel the need to replicate their favorite celebrities so they end up doing something about it, plastic surgery to auto correct whatever it is that they don’t like. Celebrities in the media are very open to talking about their procedures, they will tell the whole world that they got a certain body part cut and sewed back.
For example, Heidi Montag of the MTV show The Hills stated, “For the past three years, I’ve thought about what to have done, I’m beyond obsessed. ” Heidi Montag is widely seen in the media, especially in tabloid magazines. Young women, specifically teenagers are being influenced by the media, and may have negative results such as wanting to go through plastic surgery because they want to have the same nose as the celebrity has in the picture. Some magazines have articles about plastic surgery, and some particular magazines will even encourage readers to go out and get work done.
The need for attention, mentioned in Jib Fowles article Advertising’s Fifteen Basic Appeals, since this need to is to be looked at, many young women go on fad diets, buy products to help them look like their favorite celebrities, and go under the knife to change their appearance until they are satisfied, because in the end its okay if it will make you happy. Women spend billions of dollars on beauty products, some of which are ineffective and even unsafe. Many cosmetic advertisements use popular celebrities to capture the consumer’s attention.
There are many advertisements for cosmetics that use this specific tactic to sell; these include actresses Jessica Alba and Jessica Biel for Revlon, Singers Katy Perry and Jessica Simpson for Proactive, and actresses Queen Latifah and Drew Barrymore for Covergirl. Since these products seem to work for these celebrities then it should work for us too? That is exactly what we are made to believe. When women see celebrities and models doing the advertising, they automatically feel that they should look the same way.
They then go and rush out to department stores and spend large amounts of money on products that they are made to believe will make them look more beautiful, radiant, and reduce wrinkles. In Jean Kilbourne’s film Killing Us Softly, she mentions advertisements using photo editing to put together the perfect model. Each body part is picked off different models, which proves that there is no such thing as a perfect person. These advertisers are tricking us into buying their products because we think that by using their product we will look just like their beautiful, perfect model.
These false advertisements have major negative effects such as eating disorders, and low self esteem issues. Young women always want to look the part in today’s society, if the latest trend is to be as skinny as a stick then they will do everything in their power to lose weight and be as skinny as the models on the runway. These young women go out and purchase diet pills, again marketed by famous celebrities, believing that if they start taking the pills then they will achieve the weight of the star.
If these young women are unable to look like how they want then this causes low self esteem, which can fatally lead to obsession, depression, and even death. I must say celebrity marketing definitely does work and has its effects on young women, but the impact that it makes on them mentally and physically can be devastating. Advertisers benefit from those who seek attention, since they are able to make young women think that they can look exactly like the perfect model that is displayed on the magazine page.
These young women are influenced at a young age to believe that their outer beauty is everything, and they often imitate what they see from the media. Whether it is Barbie or a famous celebrity, both have a major impact on a young women’s self esteem. Since the new trend of being beautiful and thin has taken over today’s society by storm, many young women are going through plastic surgery to correct flaws that they are not happy with.
Advertisements marketed by celebrities are sending the wrong message to young women, making them believe they can go out and purchase the product they are selling, and that will make them look more beautiful. With the attempt to live up to today’s image, young women are spending large amounts of money on cosmetic surgeries, products to make them look younger or more beautiful, and purchase products marketed by celebrities. Overall the impact from advertising is damaging both mentally and physically of young women ages 16-30.