Wednesday, 6 January 2010

Another Layer Another Dollar

The trick of using sex and beauty as a marketing tool has taken its final, ugly turn. We once felt inadequate as we leered over images of the beautiful minority in magazines and on billboards, as they wore clothes and brandished products that would obviously make us as attractive and as interesting to talk to as them. This was successful because brands were clever enough to make us feel small, and most of us were stupid enough to seek comfort in their perfectly toned arms. Cleverer still, corporations successfully surrounded our lives with these adverts, meaning we had no choice but to look at them. This also set the "norm" in the ways we look, meaning we stupidly scoffed at anybody who didn’t fit into this standard, or wasn’t trying to.
But before I blame the general population for the deaths of our self esteems and the births (or spawnings?) of the likes of Gok Wan (after all who doesn’t want a pal that buys you clothes, tells you that you looked shite before he did so , when he looks like a total ARSEHOLE himself?) and other such TV and/or magazine characters who wallow in the tragedy of uncoordinated outfits.
This may seem unfortunately clever enough to part us with a money, but I would like to point out the new way in which labels, brands and corporations are making you empty your wallets.
We now leer over and adhere to images of the beautiful minority underneath 1,000,000 layers of wrinkle smoothing, jaw sharpening, eye brightening, forehead re-aligning, tooth whitening, bulge enhancing, hair smoothing photo generated photo generated fairy dust. Now our products are swung in front of our faces by beautiful avatars and we spend the rest of our time trying our different shades and textures to look like what we never can ; because its not real. We will constantly be disappointed and they will constantly make a profit. The most popular brand of mascara uses fake eyelashes to demonstrate how the mascara is actually pointless if we want to look anything like Eva Longoria. Yet evidently, allot of women(and me once) still try. If its not selling you something that wont satisfy your needs, it is indeed making reality look allot less attractive and also reminding anybody who forgot that there is certain rules to be followed in the ways we look and (consequently) feel. Advertising maintains that families must remain nuclear, smiling around a kitchen table before daddy goes to work (grinning with product in hand) and the advert must end before mummy tells the kids to "shut the fuck up". Teenagers with spots must be alone and staring in the mirror; teenagers without must be kissing girls and surrounded by friends. Girls must always kiss boys. Boys must always kiss girls. Now I don’t want to make this about "gay issues" because I cant help but feel that 70% of "gay issues" are exactly that :"GAY issues" which achieve little more than further marginalization. However I do feel that the reason that the reason some people may have an issue with gay people, is because they don’t see them as human, and the human beings in the adverts which surround us are never gay. They are never in that family (when they are in everyday life) and they never appear eating Hagen Dazs beside a fireplace. I'd love somebody to prove me wrong. I almost was when Heinz ran an advert for a new type of mayonnaise which featured two men kissing in it, as a husband and wife would. I felt satisfied, a normal advert , not "the reason were selling this is because its gay and the reason you should buy it is because you are" . Just a bog standard advert for a bog standard product that involved a fairer representation of daily life. Alas it was pulled off the air when 200 viewers complained that it was offensive. I’m not even going to bother doing the math’s of subtracting the amount of people who were offended enough to complain about this from the amount of people that actually saw the advert , but im guessing it was more than 200, and im guessing that Heinz really didn’t give a fuck. It just goes to strengthen what I realized in high school, everybody loves the funny, camp and flamboyant blur of color until you mention anal sex. That’s when the pitchforks come out. Anyway I had better stop talking about gay people before I turn into a bitch.
When adverts sell us a product, they try to do so in a way that we find familiar and that reflects our social surroundings. They have failed so horribly that where their attempts crashed and burned, they left a gaping vortex of vacuous doppelgangers.
Its worth noting that black people in popular entertainment such as films before the 50's were usually represented as maids, cleaners, slaves or criminals. And needless to say, black people and white people did not turn around and begin accepting one another a few weeks after the civil rights movement, just as it took us quite some time to see mixed race families selling us laundry tablets.
Wherever corporations are waiting for the next version of Photoshop to come out, they remind us of their royalty by placing their logo wherever they can. Buildings, bus shelters, football pitches. Their bright colors are, at a long shot 40% of the fabric of our surroundings. That might not sound like alot, but when we consider its function, useless, it hits us in a different way. By doing so they remind us just who has enough money to tell us what to buy.
The fictional images of beauty that we are told to strive towards cannot be better personified than by perfume adverts. Not trusting us to look for perfume if we want to buy it, and to know we want it by smelling it first, perfume is advertised to us in a format that cannot (surely?) tempt us to buy it. IMAGES of beautiful (and partly digital) people faking orgasms without any clothes on, straddling antique furniture or running around old houses assure us that "we want to smell like that!" and by doing so, we will (please? surely?) become one step closer to being beautiful, faking orgasms whilst straddling antique furniture and running around old houses.
Would people, please, for one second, pull their cocks out of the hole they cut on that Eva Longoria vogue cover, look around them and experience the beauty of REAL life? I swear, it wont cost you a penny and your hand wont bounce off a screen if you try to touch it.


  1. Hear, hear. The majority of people enjoy everything but reality. As today In the library, students being taught in an academic scenario about how to use 2nd life, what a laugh.

    Good to see your thoughts written down.


  2. This stirs me, extremely well said darling xx