Advertising has changed in many ways over the years, growing and maturing to show us what we should be. Because our own self-esteem is not enough, we rely on advertising to tell us what is beautiful and what is not. Whether we realize it or not, beauty is ultimately defined for us. Products are advertised all around us, telling us that something in our life is missing because we do not have a certain product in our possession. Ranging from make-up to plastic surgery, most of this advertising is geared toward women. This can be shown through the advertisements analyzed in this essay. Both ads depict women who are approachable. The older ad depicts simplicity and innocence, while the current ad shows a more complex, sexual look. The images are described in further detail in the following paragraphs.
The first advertisement is from Seventeen magazine in November 1980 and shows a young girl, most likely a teenager. She is wearing a dark blue sweater, but you are only able to see her shoulder and part of her right arm in the picture. Her right hand is placed behind her neck. On her wrist, she is wearing a thick green bracelet. She is smiling and her eyelashes are thick and chunky with mascara, which is the product advertised in this picture. She has brown and blonde hair that is shoulder length. The ends of her short hair are curled upwards. There is white text over the top of the picture that says, “Not just big lashes. Not just thick lashes. But big, thick, just-won’t-quit lashes.” There is also similar white text on the bottom of the advertisement that states, “Take your lashes to the Maxi.” Maxi is the brand name for the mascara being advertised, which is shown in the bottom right corner of the advertisement.
The second advertisement is from an issue of the Seventeen magazine in February 2010. This ad also shows a young teenage girl. You are only able to see her face; her hair is not visible. The only other part of her body you can see is a bit of her left shoulder, which has no straps or indications that she is wearing clothing. The background shows a clear blue sky and a busy street in modern day London, England (indicated by the infamous Big Ben clock tower. The girl has her lips parted slightly, showing a few of her white teeth. Her eyelashes are also outlined with mascara. Her eyelashes are not only thick and full, but nearly every individual lash seems to be clearly defined as well. She is wearing a thick necklace with many small pink jewels. On the right panel of the picture, there is text describing the product being advertised, which is mascara as well. The text is black and says, “The Max Volume Flash Mascara…Skinny to Fat in 10 Seconds Flat…14 times more volume…Our biggest brush ever…Collagen and Keratin enriched.” Below this text is the product, a long, thick pink tube of mascara. Below the mascara tube are the words, “Get the London look” in white text.
On the current ad, pink eye shadow and lip gloss match the pink shade of...