14 Jan 2009

The ugly face of beauty

A poster ad featuring Britney Spears, Leona Lewis and Christina Aguilera on the Berlin U-bahn has been ‘defaced’ in a truly original way. The flawless fizzogs of the, let’s face it, not exactly troll-like pop divas, have been stickered with replica Photoshop toolbars.

This example of creative vandalism is also a good example of how originality – even if it is, strictly speaking, illegal – will always garner far more coverage than bland perfection every day of the week.

It is also powerful reminder that the images of ‘perfection’ with which we are assailed on a daily basis are but an illusion, created by Photoshop wizards. As Dove has so ably demonstrated with the success of its ‘Campaign for Real Beauty’, women can handle reality. (Stop the press!) Honesty doesn’t turn them off products; if Dove sales figures are anything to go by, it turns them on.

Truth and transparency is demanded of almost every other sector (food, utility, etc.), while blatant, in-your-face lies are positively encouraged in the fashion and beauty sectors. Why so? Isn’t it time to stop pulling the wool over our eyes (and selling it to us in the form of a new sweater)? NG