Sales Here with Cynthia Harley

Communications student exploring sales and advertising

Fashion Print Ads Forever Controversial

Print advertisements are alive and well in the magazine industry, especially the fashion industry.  And you can’t talk fashion magazines without the issue of photo retouching arising.  We’ve all seen the before and after photos from ad campaigns like Ralph Lauren and Guess, typically an already size zero model retouched to an emaciated barely there figure.  

Retouching seems like a necessary evil to provide a truly professional quality in some cases.  I think everyone deserves a perfectly even skin tone and a natural glow if they’re in a print ad.  The practice doesn’t become a demon when a model looks unrecognizable from their natural appearance.  Actress Jennifer Laurence has recently been scrutinized for her photos as the new face of Dior.  

I think more than the ads themselves, Jennifer Laurence’s down to earth persona and image of championing natural beauty is contradicted by the Dior campaign.  When she didn’t look like herself in the Dior photos, I certainly reevaluated my take on retouching practices.  It’s on thing for a model to be retouched to the point they don’t look like themselves but Laurence is a household name.  We are able to see right pas the retouching and go straight to disappointment.  Disappointment for fans who would have never thought Laurence would allow such alterations.  

If the fashion industry constantly gets away with tweaking appearances what other “original” print ads are deceitful?  One that comes to mind for me is restaurant ads, because let’s face it even the best of fast food never looks like what you saw on that billboard.  In fact, I think the retouching of an actual product is far more deceitful.  Controversial as it may be to say so, reducing the size of the model, sadly makes the clothes stand out but not necessarily more appealing.  In my mind there will remain a different take on retouching photos given what product is being advertised.  

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