The Need to Look and Feel Beautiful

Chris BeecherAdvertisement Analysis, Argument, New Voices, Previous Editions, Social Criticism

The Eraser Advertisement

A woman with a seemingly-perfect face is staring directly at you with the phrases “crow’s feet”, “dark circles”, and “fine lines” written across the side of her cheek. These negative words are used to draw the attention of women who fear they have the same issues, so they can stop, look, and relate to the ad. Maybelline’s Instant Anti-Age, the Eraser, is dragged across this woman’s face and erases her so-called flaws. The product itself, The Eraser, has a glow around it, as if it is the ultimate cure that everyone has been waiting for. The target audience is the female population that worries about their appearance and has insecurities about themselves. The woman’s flawless face and the Eraser are the only two objects in the ad designed to get women to focus on covering up and hiding any signs of the natural process of aging.

Advertisements like these affect the way women think they are supposed to look, giving them the mindset that they must enhance their features to measure up to the women in these magazines, to meet society’s expectations. Makeup can correct, modify, and even improve the appearance of a woman. I asked several women the question: why do women wear makeup? The responses ranged from covering up imperfections to measuring up to the women in Vogue magazines.There is so much pressure from the media and society in general that makes women feel like they are not good enough nor pretty enough. Make up brings out a type of beauty in women that other people do not see with a naked face. Everyone wants to look their best regardless if it is just for themselves or to impress the people around them. Seven out of the eight girls that I interviewed said that they use makeup to alter the way they look by either hiding blemishes or to bring out the “true beauty” within them.

Makeup is also used to help alter a person to look older or younger, depending on the age of the woman. Maybelline’s Instant Anti-Age, the Eraser, is targeted to an older audience that uses makeup to look younger and feel more confident about their age. Older women use makeup to help make themselves look younger by using these anti-aging creams and foundations to cover up the wrinkles and help older women feel young again. The prime age for a woman is between the ages of 18 and 35, the time when a girl feels and looks her best. Women always want to feel young and beautiful and stay looking like this for as long as they can. As a result, older women use makeup to try and turn back the hands of time to when they were at their prime.


A similar Maybelline ad is zoomed in on a young woman’s clear face to promote the new pure mineral foundation. The words “complete flawless coverage” and “let’s skin breathe, looks so natural” is written right below the product name in a larger font than the rest of the words on the page. The product is shown right next to the description, the powder from the foundation is poured out vertically across the page almost covering the girl’s face. These phrases written on the page interpret that the media expects a young girl’s skin to be flawless and acne free, and if not, then they should use makeup to give them that “natural look”. But the question that always lingers: what is considered a natural look?

Maybeline Ad for Mineral Makeup

Adolescents use makeup to make themselves look older than they really are. As previously stated, the prime age for women is 18 to 35, so makeup like foundation and bold-colored makeup is used to make younger girls feel older and sexier. Every teenage girl wants to grow up fast, from stuffing their bras to applying tons of makeup. Makeup is a way for an adolescent girl to measure up and look like the older women in magazines because that is what girls are supposed to do based on society’s expectation. On the other hand, makeup is used to cover or distract from acne and breakouts and other imperfections on a young woman’s face. This new pure mineral foundation targets young women who go through the typical acne problems. The phrase “complete flawless coverage” is portraying that this coverage is the coverage needed to cover up the acne and breakouts that many young women may have. While “lets skin breathe, looks so natural” portrays that even though the acne is being covered up, future breakouts will not occur because the skin will still breathe with the makeup applied. The natural look in this ad, is that look of freshness and having smooth clean skin.

These ads take advantage of the need to look and feel beautiful. Without makeup, many women cannot feel beautiful, no matter what age. It is revealed in people’s actions that makeup is a necessity because beauty is an important factor to women.  Women desire to feel more confident; when makeup is applied, it is a new them, someone who does not have flaws. This brings out a stereotype that women must be perfect always, meaning they are to be hairless and flawless. Society expects more from women than men. Women resort to makeup to meet these expectations. But in the end, women do have flaws and imperfections, which is what makes them human beings.        `