Sunday, December 21, 2008

Really Courteney, it's the Kinerase?

In the November issue of Marie Clarie, Courteney Cox admitted to using Botox, claiming that she hated it. According to Cox, "you know you've messed up when people who are close to you say, 'Whoa, what are you doing?'" Which means that not only did she have some Botox, she had lots.

First, I'm not anti-Botox. My problem is that Courteney Cox is the spokeswoman, the face, of the high-end skincare line Kinerase. I think, frankly, it is unethical to have a cosmetic procedure like Botox done and then pose for a marketing campaign that has your face over the quote "I only trust my skin to Kinerase. It simply works." Apparently, not well enough. Looking at one of Courteney's ads, it should be fair to assume that she owes her unlined visage to the $135 tube of cream she's hawking, not the toxin paralyzing her facial muscles.

Don't condemn Couteney too much though, this is just another example of the illusion of perfection that the beauty marketing industry perpetuates. The reality of this practice came to my attention years ago, when I was a manager for one of the big 3. I remember getting a guide with a cover photo that, for some reason, had not been re-touched. This booklet, meant only for the eyes of the company's associates, showed their famous spokesmodel (a woman who has graced the cover of Vogue and walked the runway of designers from Michael Kors to Yves Saint Laurent) with sun-damaged, greasy looking skin, clumpy eyelashes, and even what looked like some old acne scars. When I received the final marketing a few weeks later, there she was in that same photo, looking as perfect as ever. My bosses would have loved me, I'm sure, but I showed those photos a lot of clients. I thought it was important that they see for themselves that even women who are chosen for their beauty aren't perfect. I provided proof that even with a team of the world's top photographers, makeup artists and hair stylists this beautiful woman still looked like crap sometimes.

The idea that the fashion and beauty industry often advocates unhealthy, unattainable ideals is certainly not a new one. I just feel that in the days where computers can completely alter a face and cosmetic surgery is no longer just for the real housewives of the OC, the lines are being blurred even more. Remember this the next time you look into the mirror and grimace at what you see.

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