Thought of the Day: Toxic Advertising

Brands should know better than to shame us into buying products… Shouldn’t they?

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With TV on-demand, streaming sites and the BBC, it’s rare to be sitting around and watching adverts on the television. And a good thing too – I’d forgotten how damaging some adverts can be.

Case in point: Bio-Oil. Now, we all know what Bio-Oil does – the product reduces the appearance of scars and marks on the skin, and makes everything blend in. That’s all they had to say.

And on the whole, Bio-Oil has always been positive – their #ScarStrong initiative last year was refreshing, and body positivity is in fashion, on trend and marketable. So that’s why their latest advertising campaign really shocked me.

Bio-Oil helps improve the appearance of scars and stretch marks

Bio-Oil Advert, 08/04/19

Red flags. Immediately. Now, the average person may find this an overreaction; after all, no one wants their scars and stretch marks on show, right?

Wrong.

This advert is another case of beauty products being marketed at women by making us feel insecure in our own bodies.

My scar shows that I am strong.

My stretch marks tell a story.

It is up to no one but me whether I choose to have them blend in with my skin or keep them visible. I choose to wear them with pride.

Not everyone has to – if you feel prouder to have them blend in with your skin, that’s great. But Bio-Oil, and the beauty industry as a whole, should not be making us feel bad about our marks. They are normal. They are part of us. They do not need to be “improved”. They are perfect the way they are. They are perfect the way you choose to have them or hide them. They are a part of your body, and it is yours to control, and yours to be proud of.

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