In general, the average person does not tend to pay much attention to how advertising affects our lives. You can find it everywhere, on magazines, billboards and even social media. It is so prevalent that we don’t notice the impact it has on us. Everything we purchase is already categorized into categories like beauty, sex or luxery.
In the advertisement for Flowerbomb from Viktor & Rolf a naked woman is shown with her hair swept to the top with flowers on the tips. The image has a pink background and thick black lettering. The perfume bottle she is holding is shaped in the shape of a grenade. The ad makes it clear that the purpose is to encourage women to purchase perfume to look as alluring or sexy like the woman in the picture. Advertising uses this technique to get women to buy the perfume or men to want the women they see in advertisements. Women are often thin and pale because it is the norm in society. C.Plous & Dominique Neptune at Weslayan university conducted a ten-year study on magazine advertisements.
It is not about your appearance. The product only makes you smell good. The ad has a tester so you can smell it, but could they have used that instead of showing a womans bare body? Since we were children, we have been told what femininity is and how to be beautiful. We are encouraged to buy products that will make us look like these women or emulate them. The Washington Post says that children begin to form a self-esteem around age five. This is much earlier than we thought.
The bottle shape is that of a grenade, which contrasts well with the pink liquid inside. By combining masculine qualities with feminine ones, this product can appeal both to a woman’s strong and powerful side as well as her beautiful side. To counteract that the woman is only used in this image to sell a product, the grenade was created. Due to the model’s youthful features, soft colors, and doe-like facial expressions, the image can appear weak and fragile.
Throughout history, society has had a variety of standards for beauty. However, they have always been difficult to achieve and few people possess the ideal body type. In America, beauty standards were always difficult to meet. According to LA Times “80% of women say that they are unhappy with the way they look, and 67% are trying hard to lose weight – even though 53% already have a healthy amount of body fat.” In the same report, 69% (of those aged 18 and over) stated that they are in favor of cosmetic surgery. This is a 7% jump from 2006. Why is it that young girls are unhappy even though they are generally healthy, and shouldn’t health be more of a priority than their appearance? According to The LA Times, with media having a bigger role in everyday life, young women are more vulnerable than ever to low self esteem and harassment based upon beauty ideals. One study states that aggressive bullying of girls is increasing since the 1990s. This includes issues like physical attributes or social status. Another study says: “Mean Girls.” . . Many women don’t change their behavior as they grow older and continue to exhibit the same behaviour. America wants to raise strong daughters who are independent and capable of loving themselves. But with ads like these flowerbombs, it may be impossible to progress.
According to Sephora, the advertisement is effective as it’s the fifth most popular perfume in 2015. As a result, the fashion industry is booming, girls are losing their self-esteem, and there’s a national distress about how to look. According to LA Times forty “percent” of newly diagnosed eating disorder cases occur among girls aged between 15-19, although symptoms may begin as early kindergarten. “The girls who put the most effort into their appearance experienced the biggest loss of self-confidence.”
It is clear that this advertisement does not solve the issue of beauty standards. Although it is effective, it can also lead to a bigger problem for young girls.