Saturday, September 10, 2011

"Pretty is not enough" for Bare Escentuals Campaign

When I opened up my AOL a few days ago, an email from Bare Escentuals titled "Pretty is not enough" instantly peaked my interest. After some brief research, I found that Bare Escentuals, a company that promotes natural-looking makeup, has a new campaign telling women that pretty is important but being truly "beautiful" is the highest prize. The creators did a blind casting call where models ages 20-60 answered questionnaires. 

My first thought after reading the messages above was "Wait, what?! This doesn't make sense at all. What's the difference between being pretty versus being beautiful?" I'm still confused about what it is supposed to mean. It appears based on the website that this new campaign is meant to be a positive message about embracing inner beauty, but I'm not following.

Why does being "bold" have to be linked to being "beautiful"? Why does beauty have to be a prerequisite for having a bold, happy, "limitless" life? Also, let's consider the type of beauty Bare Escentuals is advocating for. A woman can only become a "force of beauty" if she uses the company's makeup, and her complexion is therefore flawless and conforming to society's perfect beauty standards. Isn't this ad just reinforcing the rule that outer beauty instantly transforms a woman's inner beauty? This is a real dilemma in a world where women are constantly told that the way they look is their greatest asset and source of self-worth. Let's take beauty out of the equation when we tell young girls that they can be strong, compassionate, independent, and spunky.

A fellow blogger questions whether this campaign is sweet or insulting.
An article from The New York Times describing the campaign.

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