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Pictures of Beauty Products Make Women Feel Ugly

Does Just Looking at Lipstick Make You Feel Bad?

It doesn't take a university researcher to figure out that ads featuring beautiful, highly photoshopped models make women feel bad about themselves. But a new study shows that even standalone images of makeup and other "beauty-enhancing" items are enough to send young women into a depressive spiral. Professor Debra Trampe and her team found that after seeing ads that featured only beautifying products like makeup — not people — women still felt worse about themselves. These women responded more poorly to questions about self-image than counterparts who'd been shown pictures of "problem-solving" products like acne medication. Maybe it's just that anything prompting people to analyze their looks isn't great for self-esteem, but do you think this is true for you?

Image Source: Thinkstock
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Join The Conversation
havoksmane havoksmane 5 years
I usually get inspired by beauty ads more than anything. As for ads just featuring products, I think a person would be depressed if there are other underlying issues, i.e. insecurities bout certain features, etc. and also if its something we want but can't afford.
Natalie-Love Natalie-Love 5 years
Ya, I'm with the posters above. I'm not a huge makeup junkie, but I do like looking at sephora's site and seeing new products, and thinking what my next beauty purchase will be, I always feel like I'm pampering myself when I buy those products, and it's always positive.
Silvers567 Silvers567 5 years
That's the beauty of research - most people report one thing but results show another. Milgram anyone?
Annie-Tomlin Annie-Tomlin 5 years
I find that pretty pictures of products make me want to buy things (until I look at my overflowing lipstick drawer and realize that I should use what I already have). But I do sometimes think that product photos can make me more self-conscious -- not in a negative way per se, but in the sense of thinking about something I wasn't focusing on before. For instance, an ad for a brush or styling iron would definitely make me think about my hair when I wasn't already. As far as product-focused ads go, I've always loved Clinique's. They have consistent branding, nice product shots, and simplicity.
Annie-Tomlin Annie-Tomlin 5 years
I find that pretty pictures of products make me want to buy things (until I look at my overflowing lipstick drawer and realize that I should use what I already have). But I do sometimes think that product photos can make me more self-conscious -- not in a negative way per se, but in the sense of thinking about something I wasn't focusing on before. For instance, an ad for a brush or styling iron would definitely make me think about my hair when I wasn't already. As far as product-focused ads go, I've always loved Clinique's. They have consistent branding, nice product shots, and simplicity.
mondaymoos mondaymoos 5 years
Yeah, I can't relate to this at all. The only reason looking at makeup products would make me feel bad is 'Damn, I wish I could afford that.'
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