Updated: Jan 14
At the start of this project i knew i had certain feelings about brand narratives and the ways in which brands present their products, but i could put my finger on exactly what my qualms were. This probably has something to do with the fact we are exposed to SO much content every single day, whether it's advertisements, influencer posts, or just posts from our friends. Half the time i don't actually think about what i consume. However I began to see posts popping up with the same sorts of language used in them, which i began to have a problem with. Lots of brands i was seeing, i noticed use language which for me signifies this essence of 'purity', 'rawness', 'the natural look'.
This is a video which was posted on Glossier's Instagram feed. The video shows various different people describing what 'Glossier Skin' is. The people in the video are from all different ethnic backgrounds and of all shapes, sizes and genders. Glossier as a brand are certainly inclusive. However, the terminology here i feel depicts exactly what I couldn't put my finger on before.
The words used in the video -
All of these words i would suggest connote a theme of 'purity'. The way in which these short clips are presented - the end part 'Dewy dewy dewy dewy', i felt a bit strange about. I feel like that is exactly what bombardment is and even whilst watching the video, i wanted those dewy looking people's skin so badly, i almost bought one of their products!
While the words on their own aren't harmful, i think when attached to a slogan such as 'what is glossier skin', they are. Not only this but when they are being said by individuals who all have perfect complexions without a blemish in sight.
To bring some context, Glossier's ethos is 'Skin First, Makeup Second'. If this brand is supposedly a skin-care brand, why are they only showing individuals with perfect skin? I know, with someone with skin problems that for me this is harmful and almost offensive. The AD is basically saying your skin can be all these things if you buy glossier. Which for someone with cystic acne, is just not true. I have a naturally dewy, or sweaty, rather face- and don't need your Glossier's extra dew. BUT at the same time. When i go onto glossier's instagram, even for the purpose of Instagram, i can feel myself wanting to buy their products, even whilst i'm kind of annoyed about the types of advertisements they put out there.
For a brand which has an ethos of female empowerment, to be inclusive in so many ways but NOT inclusive of real people's skin, i feel like is a huge problem in itself and potentially harmful to many individuals. There are so many different types of skin, which just aren't shown on Glossier- anywhere- i guess a red face wouldn't fit their instagram aesthetic..