Saturday, August 9, 2008

September 2008 - ELLE Magazine - Ad Review

For some mysterious reason, Jessica Simpson's last appearance on the cover of ELLE was one of their best selling issues ever so the magazine is trying to strike gold again with the big September issue. I don't personally care for the woman but I really don't understand who approved the styling for this cover and the spread inside. I've never thought Simpson was drop dead gorgeous but she's not ugly either, and probably deserved better photos than the unflattering half-deer/half-trout treatment that her face received here. Even the clothes are ugly. But I digress...let's get down to the ads in the issue:

The ads featuring black people seemed to fall into a few categories: The Good, The Celebrity,  The Weird, and The Ugly. Let's start with something positive:

The Good: Sure, a handful of ads in a magazine boasting hundreds of ad pages isn't anything to write home about but the ones below featured actual models (don't strain your eyes trying to find Jessica White in the Maybelline ad.)

The Celebrity: Halle Berry has more pictures in this issue than any black model. Poor Kerry Washington looks a little sad in the Movado ad but I don't blame her, I felt the same way when I saw her in "Little Man."

The Weird:

I don't care that he has a line of hair extensions and has two black women in his ad, there's no way I'd ever let Ken Paves touch my hair.

As for Kimora (at least I think that's Kimora laying on the bed) she's been a little heavy handed with that Photoshop gun lately. She's airbrushed herself into Chanel Iman in this advert.

Speaking of airbrushing...

The Ugly:

A lot has already been written about this Loreal ad featuring someone who looks like Beyonce. I myself had to do a double take when I saw it. It seems to go against the concept of celebrity endorsement to make the celebrity in question unrecognizable. Of course this happens all the time in the media. Black girls who look black aren't aspirational but apparently black girls who look white are.

Which brings me to this Clinique ad. I found it interesting that this stark white ad for what I'm assuming is a bleaching cream underlined the portion of text that says it is for "all ethnicities." I guess an underline is cheaper than a big flashing arrow that reads NOW EVERYONE CAN BE WHITE! Now, as a dark skinned person, I am very aware that things like insect bites, scratches and acne leave dark marks on our skin and that not everyone who uses a lightening cream is doing so out of self-hate but c'mon Clinique! If 99.9% of your products don't mention "all ethnicities" why highlight it on this product?

ETA: This editorial called "Women on the Verge" that features model Moesha. Is it just me or is she the spitting image of Nina Keita?


::Otulp:: said...

soo... kerry looks AWFUL in that movado ad

still <3 her tho

Shell said...

Though I don't read fashion mags like I use to, I get to keep up with it all with your blog. I enjoy reading your insightful posts. You keep doing your thang, girl.

Chic Noir said...

Bridgette, if you think that ad of Beyonce is something; you should see an ad that ran in a European blk hair and beauty mag of Kerry Washington. They completely "denegrofied" her. I think I have the magazine home; I am going to hunt through stacks to find it.

Brigitte said...

@chic noir - I'd love to see it if you find it :)

chic noir said...

I am still digging.

This month's Nylon has a number of blks faces in it. That young lady's letter must of really got somebody in that office shook.

Asian Models Blogger said...

OMG, will the real Kimora please come out. The other half of her is hiding under the bed.

Beyonce sure looks white-ish to me in that L'oreal ad.

Clare said...

Everyone is so heavy handed with the photoshop - Beyonce, Kimora, even the big J Simpson herself (where is the other side of her thigh?)

Wouldn't it be great if one celeb/magazine took a challenge to show non-airbrushed pictures for a feature and cover? I think it would be a total eye-opener.

Agree/Disagree? I'm trying to get it done - Tell me what you think!