The adverts, one including Julia Roberts the other of supermodel Christy Turlington were forced to be pulled by L'Oreal after Liberal Democrat MP Jo Swinson lodged a complaint with the ASA stating that the images were overly airbrushed, the ASA then declared that the adverts breached the advertising standards codes. Swinson stated that the ads were "not representative of the results the product could achieve" - this is precisely what frustrates me about these kind of ads above all. I absolutely have no problem with the photo-shopping of images, it is everywhere and used by everyone for all different kind of reasons, but when images like this, which appear over the world, are subject to huge digital enhancement and over the top airbrushing that ultimately occurs to push products, it becomes utterly deceitful and false. It is so unrealistic to promote the idea that 'with this product you could like this', because actually, the person in the picture doesn't really look like that. These are only two cases from a wealth of advertising campaigns that follow this trend, the ones that stick in my mind are the vast majority of mascara adverts that basically show eyelashes that don't even belong to the model, yet apparently if you buy the product your eyelashes could allegedly look like that. It couldn't get any more distorted and misleading.
Ultimately, these images are just wholly unnatural and however cliched it sounds, no-one is that perfect not even Julia Roberts and Christy Turlington, and although they are undoubtedly beautiful and incredible looking it just is not possible for them to look how the adverts portray them, because it makes them look inhuman. If people were to actually like the creations of the adverts, then we would lose our character and personality, it would just be odd.
Also, along similar lines that the 'Rant' post raises, then what are these images supposed to do for the person viewing them. It runs risk of promoting issues with self-perception and self-criticism by putting these unrealistic images of women to front the campaign in order to sell the product. It easily can create a 'I wish I looked like that' feeling and the advert pretty much grants this wish by suggesting that with the product in question you could transform, even change, yourself with that product, that by using it one could take steps towards appearing like that. Using this technique to sell the product is just wrong and dishonest not to mention utterly false and unattainable because the person in the picture doesn't even look like that themselves, instead it has the capacity to be harmful and self-questioning.
It is interesting also to see that these adverts are only banned in the UK and not in the US - I wonder if and when that will happen, however at least there is some kind of progression and a step towards change within this industry. To relate it to YouTube, I feel it is a forum that is constantly increasing in popularity in the make-up and beauty area because what you see is literally what you get, the people who make up the YouTube community are real people with lives that people can relate to, with absolutely no sign of digital enhancement - it becomes attainable and achievable. Of course there are people that unfortunately do feel the need to point out blemishes or lines, perhaps that reflects how their perception has been distorted by this kind of advertising.
Individuals on YouTube are real, there is nothing to hide behind. Moreover, you can see the products at work, see what the products actually do, not just what they say they do and decide for yourself what you think of the product, it is honest precisely because the individual can form their own thoughts and opinions*, seeing products actually being demonstrated on real people. I love YouTube for that, you take from it what you wish without any huge claims or unrealistic and unattainable suggestions of what the product does to affect you, because you can see it at work for yourself, it can be very refreshing in times like this.
*Obviously, some YouTubers choose to make sponsored videos but it is against the law for them not to state that clearly on their channel. Also I think it's fairly obvious when a video features a paid promotion.