UK Bans America's Sweetheart

Cosmetic ad featuring Julia Roberts is deemed to be "false advertising."

Named America’s sweetheart before Sandra Bullock was dumped in epic style and took the title, Julia Roberts is one of few women with the ability to lead us to realistically consider prostitution as a positive career path. What’s not to love?

Regardless of Roberts’ impressive hooker-meets-Erin Brockovich superpowers, the UK is over her. Or, more specifically, they’re over the "airbrushed, fake, false, why the hell would someone as gorgeous as Julia Roberts need to be Photoshopped to the point of no return" picture of her in an ad for Lancôme’s Teint Miracle foundation. So over the ad, in fact, they’ve banned it.

Along with a Maybelline ad for a foundation called Eraser featuring a computer-generated picture of Christy Turlington, the UK has decided the Lancôme ad is false advertising. The products featured in the ad, or any product for that matter, can’t yield the results that the picture portrays so The Advertising Standards Authority requested the plug be pulled. Simple as that. Cheers to you, UK. If only America  would get its head out of its ass for a hot second, we might just be close behind you. But we’re busy watching Jersey Shore.

Some say it’s a matter of free speech and the ads should be allowed on billboards across the world while others say their IQ is high enough to know the difference between a real face and a airbrushed face so who the hell cares. I understand both viewpoints, but there’s a part of me that can’t help but appreciate my right to not have my head f***ed with on a massive level everywhere I turn and every magazine I look at, leading me, a smart, educated woman with healthy self-esteem, to think that I’m an ugly piece of sh*t who might die wrinkled and unloved without purchasing a tub of miracle lotion that will fix a flaw I didn't realize I had until I saw the ad. But hey, that’s just me.

Though the feeling passes quickly with no major damage and I realize how silly it all is, I can’t say the same for millions of fragile young girls who have self-esteem similar to Heidi Montag's at best.

Most of us are smart enough to know that the pictures in all of the ads are as fake as reality TV, but it doesn’t mean the ads aren’t still dangerous for the greater population and society as a whole. The more these absurd images are scattered about the world and its billboards, the more ridiculous our understanding of beauty, achievement, and success become. Yes, it’s all connected … and if you don’t think it is, we have bigger problems.

The UK isn't alone in catching the bug of responsible advertising. In June, 2011 the American Medical Association announced a new policy encouraging advertising associations to reconsider the effects their creative choices/Photoshopping, are having on the health of our youth, and used the word "damaging" to describe said effects.

But alas, nothing at all has changed. The AMA's policy was ignored like the emotional needs of a toddler in a tiara and the US continues to turn a blind eye to false advertising, especially in the beauty department. Screw self-esteem, the economy needs a boost, go buy some foundation.

Ah, America, land of the free sure comes at a high price.

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