THE BLOG
01/10/2014 04:44 pm ET Updated Mar 12, 2014

The Harm That's Caused by Transparent Messages in Advertising

What we see in magazines and television is universally known to be the results of heavily-used photo editing tools, dramatic makeup and powerful lighting techniques. While this appealing stimulus is not something we can achieve without having deep pockets and a professional team to create optical illusions, we are also easily trapped in personal conflict by the sounds or words that accompany these messages.

There is no product or procedure that will single-handedly eliminate your belly fat. There are no products or procedures that will erase all evidence of scars on your body. There is certainly no way that any product or procedure will miraculously make the gender of your choice flock to you in instant admiration. We recognize these facts on a logical level, but emotionally, we are more concerned with our own real or perceived short-comings, which cloud our reality of the altered proof since so many others in the media appear to have attained "ultimate beauty".

Most body-positive propaganda is focused on the physical elements regarding the harmful spread of unattainable imagery and how it damages self-esteem. Why must we see scenes related to the cover of a romance novel when we watch an ad about perfume? Will our scent ultimately determine how we end up with the person of our dreams? It can't be because this other company told me that having smooth and hairless armpits will be what attracts my object of affection! Products used on or advertised by models who are meant to be the example of maximized effectiveness is essentially what is being sold, not the product itself.

As potential customers of a product being advertised, we are forced to look at ideal silhouettes and evaluate ourselves. The language that is presented is what ultimately reels us in because is it easier to relate to versus the false images we are exposed to. We hear what we have been bred to believe and when we are born into a society that continues this beat-down cycle, we are at the disadvantage. All companies must feed on our inner desires and fears in order to maximize their profit margins. Without our insecurities, beauty product companies would become less aggressive in their marketing practices. Our own desire for superficial self-improvement is what keeps these practices alive and thriving; we are essentially selling out our self-worth.

Words are powerful and can be used as weapons of manipulation when placed strategically in ads or spoken with calculated intent. Images are created to draw us in as consumers while words seal the message that we must attain what is in front of us in order to be all-around successful in life. Belly fat can be chiseled away at with proper diet and exercise, scars eventually fade and people are inter-personally drawn to confidence, not a product or procedure.

What you hear from any company building a fortune is why you need what they are offering. Investing your money into what they are selling doesn't turn you into a "sheeple", you just need to be able to consciously recognize what demographic the company is targeting and question everything you plan on purchasing. Absolute buzz words such as "extreme," "sexy," and "perfect" are common catch phrases imperative to connecting with a potential customer base. Using familiar everyday language that anyone with an eighth-grade education can comprehend is what fills the gap between foreign images of human perfection and how, we too, are capable of experiencing the supposed life the images help convey.

With words helping to dictate our worldly perceptions my words can only tell you that having a flatter stomach will not make you a more likable person and having scars does not mean that you are not desirable. Frizzy hair will not be the reason you don't get a promotion at your job and having a smaller nose won't prevent you from making the world a better place. One message these companies have right is that you have the ability to improve yourself but defining how that will happen dictates the optimism your future holds. You have the power to cover your ears to the noise they create through their damaging insinuations because money truly can't buy self-imposed happiness.