Airbrushing in Advertising

In terms of whom I agree with most in the article, I definitely identify with the author, Tara Moss. The issue hinges on the word “excessive.” Touching up photos, and clearing blemishes are not an issue. I myself have had professional photos taken and have had them rendered to their best possible look. Those pictures still portrayed me in an accurate light.

If marketers are altering pictures, they should still be portraying an accurate image of a person that has used their product. Any other doctoring that is misleading would be false advertising. What is more, not only does it create a false sense of hope in a product, but also it creates a false reality for many consumers of that product.

Much like Moss said in the article: “If you buy that celebrity perfume, or use that expensive sunblock, do you really believe that you will find yourself shimmering next to that placid panther, or draped over that hunky seaman on your bazillion-dollar yacht?”

I see the perspective of Aristotle and Confucius in the viewpoint of Moss and myself. There is a moderation necessary to fall within the happy balance of optimal looking advertisements and portraying truthful images and messages to the people that could consume those products. “Moral virtue is the appropriate location between two extremes,” is what Confucius said and that is as accurate of a statement as there is. One extreme is the overly doctored images that are flat out lying to consumers. The other is a world of undoctored images and people questioning if any product works in a positive way. Businesses have to sell products and they aren’t going to sell their product short, but lying to a consumer is grossly unethical.


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