Truth in Advertising: What Ads Today Should Really Be Saying

An ad in a plastic surgery journal prompts us to sound off about some of today's more mainstream campaigns

As a writer, I'm constantly being bombarded with new reading materials. It’s not uncommon for me to come home and find a pile of six oversized FedEx envelopes stacked against my door, containing everything from The G-Free Diet to the latest issue of Allure. Recently, though I ended up on the media mailing list for the Aesthetic Surgery Journal (a medical journal which publishes stories with titles like "Water-Assisted Liposuction for Body Contouring.") I have no idea how it happened, still, I always take a moment to flip through the mag, gawking at before-and-after photos of breast implants and face lifts.

But, when my January issue recently arrived I noticed something different: An ad for glute implants (see it above.)  The ad immediately struck me as strange because it looks like any other advertisement (like something you'd see for sunblock or a cruise line) but the tagline says, very plainly, "Gluteal Implants." Which is kind of what I think of whenever I see those sunblock or cruise ship ads anyway. Well, maybe not "glute implant," but definitely, "airbrushed" or "lipo."

I can't fault the journal for running this ad. The truth is, many women in this country want plastic surgery, so the glute implant company is simply responding to this consumer demand. I just hate the fact that so many of us are so supremely dissatisfied with our bodies that we are willing to risk our lives, go under anesthesia, have our butts (or breasts, or torsos) surgically sliced open and filled with foreign objects (or sucked out with vacuums). The bottom line: I don’t hate the ad; I just hate what it represents. Still, the whole thing made me wonder: Maybe if plastic surgery ads ran in mainstream magazines, we'd have more truth in advertising? I can quickly think of a few campaigns that could be tweaked. A few ideas:

The ad: Biotherm Celluli-Peel
What it should say:  “Twelve Year Old, Prepubescent Girl.”

The ad: Victoria's Secret
What it should say: "Hungry"

The ad: American Apparel ads (but this one especially)
What it should say: “Oppression”

The ad: Baby Phat
What it should say: "Wildly Airbrushed"”

The ad: Giuseppe Zanotti
What it should say: “Camera Trickery”

The ad: Calvin Klein MAN
What it should say: "This Will Never Be You"

The ad: Dannon Light n Fit Yogurt
What it should say: "Marlarky"

What are your thoughts?

Do you think the airbrushed pics we often see in today's ads should be clearly labeled as such for the average viewer? Chime in below!



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