Culture Jam: Revlon

Pre-Jammed Ad

This advertisement is for Revlon’s “Beyond Natural” skin matching makeup featuring Jessica Alba. A well-known actress, she serves as a model or aspiration to many people all over the world. There are a few problems that I see in this ad that I would like to address in my jamming. The first of these issues would be the implication that this makeup is naturally made or does not possess chemicals and things of the like. This is not necessarily the case. While I do not know this to be true, the advertisement does not put in the fact that it is naturally made which to me seems like they are trying to make it seem naturally made when it is not. The ad can seem slightly deceptive if a consumer does not look further into the product than what the advertisement puts forward. The main issue at large that is at play here is the expectations for women in the beauty industry. Women are told to look beautiful and flawless, but also as natural as possible.  It is also worth noting that although it says it will adjust to your perfect skin tone, in very small print it also says that it is only available in 5 shades. While if the product works correctly there would be some variation within those 5 shades, there are far more shades of skin colours than 5 and the product is clearly not targeted at a diverse audience. Another issue that I would like to address is the expectations of women made by this ad. The ad puts forth the expectation that a woman should look beautiful and done up; however, she should not look like she is trying too hard. The idea is that she should look flawless but natural at the same time. The phrase “beyond natural” implies that natural is good, but makeup would take you to a “better” version of the natural you. The natural woman is not good enough. This speaks to the unrealistic expectations of women in the beauty industry. 

Culture Jammed Ad

My jamming of the assignment aspired to reveal the absurdity of expectations for women when it comes to makeup and beauty. I was aiming to highlight the fact that women are taught to be made up and look gorgeous but to also look like they are not trying too hard, presumably because that is not what society deems what they want in a woman. That was regarding the industry in general, but in relation to this ad in particular, I wanted to highlight the fact that it is called “Beyond Natural”. This implies while natural is good, this makeup can make a woman a better version of ner natural self and that her version of natural is not good enough. I also wanted to highlight the lack of ethnic diversity and to evoke a feeling of the lack of inclusion in the beauty industry. It is already an exclusive industry where the expectations of who should be included in it are absurdly high, but then on top of that, women of colour are systematically discluded as if the makeup put out is not designed for them. I wanted to evoke the realization that there is a hugely diverse population and yet makeup (which women of every colour can choose to wear) is usually targeted to those of a fairer complexion and darker skins are demoted to a single (or at least far fewer) shades. I also used the painting tool on her face to try to show just how much makeup she was wearing other than this product that they were promoting. It can make her look amazing, but it is probably working with many other products to achieve that look (if she is wearing the advertised product at all. I aimed to highlight the absurdity of makeup calling for a natural look and yet claiming that it is better than a true natural look. Revlon’s slogan is “it’s fabulous being a woman”. I added this to my jammed picture and chose to change it to “it’s hard being a woman” to emphasize again how for women specifically, the expectations especially when it comes to beauty are unrealistic and unfair.