Cultural Jam Assignment

Original Ad

 

The brand Covergirl is one that is not foreign to most people. Their slogan “easy breezy beautiful” is one that is easy to remember and sticks in our memory. With this slogan, I believe the company is portraying their brand and their product as tools women, or men, can use to make themselves look and feel beautiful, easily. The model in the advertisement is Zendaya. She is a celebrity known for her acting, modelling and singing abilities. In the advertisement, Zendaya is portrayed looking flawless, to say the least. Her makeup is applied perfectly. This advertisement specifically is showcasing Covergirl mascara as can be seen with the open mascara bottle. Although it is an advertisement of mascara, Zendaya’s whole face is done up with makeup from foundation and bronzer to her effortless sharp eyeliner wings.

However, the problem I am addressing is one that is behind the scene and may be overlooked by some people. It’s the problem that some people may forget about as they look at famous celebrities with beautiful faces and flawless makeup. This is the problem of animal testing. What some people may be unaware of is how these makeup products find their way to the shelves. They are not just created, packed and shipped out to be bought. The detail in the middle some people may miss is that these products have to be tested. Unfortunately, the victims of this testing are small, helpless animals who have no say in the matter. Instead, they are poked and prodded until these products are deemed safe for human use.

Deconstructed Ad

For my edit, I chose to replace Zendaya’s beautiful, makeup filled face and in it’s place, inserted a rabbit who has been the victim of animal testing. I also chose to change the slogan from “easy breezy beautiful” to “easy breezy NOT so beautiful.” I changed the slogan because there is absolutely nothing easy, breezy or beautiful about using animals to test any products on. The concept of animal testing is not new and has been around for a long time. To test makeup products that have been created, some companies use animals, including cats, dogs, rats, mice, and other primates (PETA, 2016). I chose to present a rabbit that has obviously gone through trauma as can be seen from the discolouration and skinned patches on what used to be white fur. The rabbit is a clear example of what these animals go through. According to the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) website, “examples of animal tests include forcing mice and rats to inhale toxic fumes, force-feeding dogs pesticides, and dripping corrosive chemicals into rabbits’ sensitive eyes.” (PETA 2016). Makeup is a universal product, that countries and cultures full of different sorts of people around the world – whether they are commercially created or made naturally at home – use to enhance their beauty or use for religious or cultural practices. The message I am trying to make alive in my deconstructed advertisement is that beauty can be painful. It is that beauty can come at an expense – and that expense is powerless animals that are incapable of not consenting to such practices. While standing in Sephora or local drugstores, we probably do not think about the animals that were harmed in making the beauty products we purchase. With my advertisement, I wanted to bring animal testing as a subject that we start noticing, start discussing, and start doing something about again.

References:

Animal Testing 101

https://www.walgreens.com/images/adaptive/si/77916_Hero_MOBILE_1280x804.jpg