Unretouched make up ad a reminder the problem’s much bigger

I’m pretty sure Make Up For Ever had folks like the Feministing community in mind when they put together this ad:

Thin blond white model takes a picture of her made up face. Copy reads You're looking at the first unretouched make up ad

The ad claims to be the first for make up that isn’t retouched. The feminist critique of retouched images of models has gone mainstream, so I’m not surprised to see a make up company engage with it directly. But I see this more as an attempt to co-opt the critique in order to sell a product than actual progress. Don’t get me wrong, I love make up – my feminism has equal space for stilettos and work boots. But this ad still represents a very specific beauty standard – the model is still incredibly thin, white, blond, the photo’s still lit and shot professionally to make her look as smooth, thin, and pale as possible, and the make up is still done by a professional. In fact, pointing out the ad wasn’t retouched serves to make this unattainable idea of beauty seem more real. Retouching is part of the problem of what the beauty industry’s selling us, but it really just scratches the surface.

So kudos to feminism for pushing this issue to the point where a major make up company starts engaging with our ideas in its ads. But sorry Make Up For Ever, you’re not gonna make me think you’ve gotten unproblematic that easily.

Via Jezebel

Boston, MA

Jos Truitt is Executive Director of Development at Feministing. She joined the team in July 2009, became an Editor in August 2011, and Executive Director in September 2013. She writes about a range of topics including transgender issues, abortion access, and media representation. Jos first got involved with organizing when she led a walk out against the Iraq war at her high school, the Boston Arts Academy. She was introduced to the reproductive justice movement while at Hampshire College, where she organized the Civil Liberties and Public Policy Program’s annual reproductive justice conference. She has worked on the National Abortion Federation’s hotline, was a Field Organizer at Choice USA, and has volunteered as a Pro-Choice Clinic Escort. Jos has written for publications including The Guardian, Bilerico, RH Reality Check, Metro Weekly, and the Columbia Journalism Review. She has spoken and trained at numerous national conferences and college campuses about trans issues, reproductive justice, blogging, feminism, and grassroots organizing. Jos completed her MFA in Printmaking at the San Francisco Art Institute in Spring 2013. In her "spare time" she likes to bake and work on projects about mermaids.

Jos Truitt is an Executive Director of Feministing in charge of Development.

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