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Belgian Ad For a Natural Cosmetics Company

If Only This Ad Were on the Endangered List...

I firmly believe the beauty industry can help women feel confident and look their best. But when it comes to nonsense like this Belgian ad for a natural cosmetics company, I want to go concealer-free out of righteous rage. The ol' before-and-after shot transforms a scruffy woman into the typical "hot" vixen. The tagline: "No need to be ugly to save the planet." Nice, huh?

Look, I know it's a joke, but am I the only one who's tired, really tired, of this sort of thing? I know it sounds funny coming from a beauty-lovin' lady, but this ad exemplifies the worst of beauty marketing. I mean, it's not a sin to have acne or messy hair, so why shame women who don't fit that overly Photoshopped ideal? And if you are out saving whales, isn't that accomplishment more meaningful than having perfectly arched brows? (By the way, I know tons of beautiful environmentalists, some of whom love bright red lipstick and others who wouldn't wear makeup even if a spotted owl begged them to.)

Plenty of beauty companies promote their products through positive messages. So why, in 2009, are some ad agencies still taking a fearful, sexist route?

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