With materialism and consumerism becoming major determinants of human character in many modern nations, it is inevitable that the business of advertising will flourish to become a colossal empire. In every sphere of everyday live, people are bombarded with advertisements about anything they need and everything they do not need. This is particularly true in the case of popular magazines which target the larger part of the general consumers. The advertisers fill the glossy pages of many magazines with a range of bold advertisements. The products advertised vary in nature and include many matching the theme of the magazine, such as beauty products, as well as many that do not quite fit, such as appliances and cleaning products. In order for the advertisers to attract the general population to their product they use a variety of techniques. A great success is usually the addition of a man or a woman identifying the ideal image of beauty. Even though in some cases beauty has nothing to do with the product itself, the advertisers believe that it will grab the potential buyers’ attention, build a strong interest in the product, and eventually result in increased sales.
Many agree that ideal images of beauty are a necessity in the process of selling a certain product. Thin bodies, long shiny hair, and a beautiful white smile are the rules rather than the exceptions in various advertisements. Turning the pages of popular magazines such as the Cosmopolitan and People, it is easy to become aware of a common theme or the similar images between different advertisements. Using gorgeous models is not specifically limited to advertisements about beauty products. Actually, the product itself and its purpose are not that essential. What matters most is who is promoting it. It is not even important if the product works as well as presented in the advertisement. The people buying it believe it does, because a good-looking celebrity convinced them this is the case. The idea behind the use of images of beautiful people in advertisements is that they can easily convince the general public that if they use the same shampoo, perfume and so on, they will look as great as the person in the image. In the case of products, such as a big screen TV or an oven cleaner, which do not have anything to do with beauty, the ideal image serves the purpose of attracting the potential consumers’ attention.
Advertising is a very important and necessary aspect of contemporary business. Without it the success of a certain product is quite uncertain. Even if the product advertised is great and serves its purpose, many will not even be aware of its existence if it were not for the advertisements in popular magazines. Advertising is a way of connecting the product to its potential buyers. In addition, advertising provides a creative outlet for an array of people with the desire to work in the business. Competition between different advertisers pushes them to think beyond, above, and outside the box to come up with better, unique and successful advertisements.
Despite the benefits associated with advertising, many argue that it egoistically exploits the image of ideal beauty with the goal of manipulating people’s opinions and desires. Additionally, advertisements not only promote a certain product, but they also serve to endorse a certain image as ideal. Many people will buy the advertised product not because they really like it or need it, but because they would feel closer to the ideal image presented in the advertisement. They believe that if they eat the same snack, use the same perfume, or have the same vacuum cleaner in their house that the glowing people in the advertisements have, they will eventually become those people, be just like them: perfect and happy.
Consumerism is a defining characteristic of many people, cultures, and nations of the world today. The 21st century greets the human species with an abundance of products that will potentially make their lives easier and more convenient. There are, however, too many products that are not necessarily important to one’s survival or better standard of life; they actually have no better purpose than the purpose of being in somebody’s possession. Therefore, to ensure sales of their products advertisers resort to whatever works best. As a result, in many popular magazines advertising and images of ideal beauty often go hand in hand. The ideal images not only help sell the product; they are ultimately the product.