Yes, advertising – that insidious, brainwashing, sales pitchy, repetitive, starburstish, spammy, manipulative, interrupt-your-entertainment, get-in-front-of-you-hundreds-of-times-a-day industry that I am in. Of course, it doesn't have to be that bad. There is a manipulative and brainwashing power behind advertising and design strategy, but if used for good, well, it's all good. That's why it's so important to self-regulate. Advertisers have big a responsibility to be honest.
My latest pet peeve is mascara ads. What the hell are they thinking? What the hell are the consumers thinking if they believe a little bottle of mascara is going to give them eyelashes like this? How are we supposed to choose mascara based on that misinformation?
Three cheers to the U.K. for cracking down on L'Oreal and Maybelline for running these misleadingly-airbrushed ads of Julia Roberts and Christy Turlington (read more here). It's a giant slippery slope that starts with something simple like covering a blemish. Who doesn't want to smooth out their skin a bit? Heck, if I could Photoshop myself every morning, I would!
The answer lies not so much in refraining from using makeup as it does in creating only honest advertising. Decorate but don't lie. Emphasize but don't lie. Communicate the strengths and leave out the weaknesses, but don't lie. I'm all about honest propaganda for a good cause!