Beauty or Bust: Cosmetics, Fitness, and the Kia Soul Hamsters
With the average $15,000 spent on makeup in a woman’s lifetime, you could buy a brand new 2013 Kia Soul. And speaking of the Soul, even the Kia hamsters have given into media pressures with a dramatic weight loss in the newest Soul commercials.
Before I get all analytical, I do support a healthy lifestyle fortified by fitness, as portrayed in this commercial. I also realize these are just silly animated hamsters, but keep in mind these “silly hamsters” are successful enough to have lasted since their first appearance in 2009. That being said, the implications of the 2014 Kia Soul commercial are very real. The hamsters (which don’t even look like hamsters anymore) are yet another example of the media silently telling us that the only way we can be happy, successful, and popular is if we subject ourselves to weight loss and the “red carpet” standard of beauty. And in the case of the Kia hamster, it is clear that men are not safe from this message either.
AFTER (Stuart Little, is that you?)
Digital manipulation does not just apply to animated hamsters either, it is an everyday media standard for real human beings too. This week on Facebook, there was a sharing trend for this video, “See Why We Have An Absolutely Ridiculous Standard Of Beauty In Just 37 Seconds,” featuring the dramatic Photoshop manipulation of a real woman. If you have 37 second to spare I would strongly recommend watching it.
While I do believe advertisers are partially responsible for this unrealistic pressure, I don’t expect them to stop their alterations any time soon. Instead, I believe we should encourage and promote the growth and importance of educating people in media literacy. The media is an intrinsic part of today’s culture, and with it come many benefits to our standard of living. However, the media is also dangerously powerful, otherwise most women would not be spending a car load of cash on makeup throughout their lives. It is important that men and women alike learn to recognize that in today’s culture seeing is not believing. Just like the burgers in fast food commercials, what you see is not what you get. So next time you watch a commercial, just take a moment to remember that you are viewing a fabricated reality.
Until next time, stay terribly beautiful.