Ponds’ Concept of Ideal Beauty

Ponds’ Concept of Ideal Beauty through Its Product Ponds White Beauty It is a common knowledge that in several cultural products, such as movies, advertisements and other texts, women have become the center of focus most of the time. We all know that advertisement is one of the most important factors for both commercial and non-commercial companies, especially for commercial companies. If the companies do not advertise their products, the society will not pay attention to the products which are sold and the company will not be able to reach their goals.

That is why companies must have their own way to market and promote their products to be able to compete in the global bussiness competition. They have to market their products and reach the “goal target”, but it is not easy though. By giving what people desire for, advertisers have the best chance of arresting attention and affecting communication to the viewers. Many advertisements broadcast in media especially television have created such notions. Advertisements are trying to build a mind set towards women to buy their products.

Some of them are showing the things which are being sold, for example the packaging, the picture or the function, and some of them are trying to drive the customer’s mind. Nowadays, one of the most appealing phenomena is the promotion of whitening products. This kind of product has been widely spread out all over the world, mostly in Asian. The advertisements indirectly give the viewers a concept that underlines the concept of beauty; which is white is beauty. This notion appears to be quite influential for women, Asian women in particular, to buy their products.

One of the most popular whitening products in Indonesia is Ponds. There are a lot of types Ponds products, however mostly are still focusing on enhacing women’s skin tone. Ponds Institute have established a lot types of whitening series; starting from Ponds White Beauty until the new one, Ponds Flawless White. The text that is going to be discussed in this essay is Ponds White Beauty commercial that is published in India. In every commercial, Ponds understands that it is women’s nature to always want to look and consider beautiful.

Eventually, the definition of beauty has been ruled by the media, so those who follow the ideal beauty concept will be considered as beautiful. For most women who lived in a country that once was colonized by white people, beauty means white. Since most Asian women are colored-skin (dark skin), Ponds’ offer of “self-transformation” effectively enlarges the individual to include significant others and must become an extension of the personality and status of their occupants. If we related to historical background, we can draw red line through this kind of ideology of beauty.

Most of Asians are colonized by the Western people. Most of Western people are white, then the feeling of inferiority is seen through this. Self-confidence of the women in Asia has been eroded; they would do anything to enhace their skin tone since they believe that being white will make them “superior”. They can define the superior as any kind of meaning but this superiority is only a vague impression. However, most of women do not realize this vague impression; they still keep living in the world of imaginary that stated white is better than color.

They enjoy being exposed by the lie of media, in this case advertisement. Moreover, Ponds always uses the issue of the sacred link between beauty and romance. It can be seen from the comercial that the man is interested in the woman who is dancing cheerfully, since he has been staring at the woman before. Thus, when the old lady says that to him, he hardly belives her. Instead he asks, “How do you know? ” The old lady reply, “Look at the glow! ” The word “glow” means shines so bright.

Our feeling is reflected on our face; when we are in a good feeling, our face will look bright and shiny, it also works otherwise. Getting married usually identical with joyful and happiness, the bride will be looking shiny, therefore the old lady relates the woman’s glow with the possibility that she ight be the bride. Then there is a woman’s that says, ““Actually it’s Ponds White Beauty Skin Lightening cream with detox vitamin that gives you nourished pink glow. ” On the top left of the scene, we can read “Fall in love with the nourished pink glow. The underlined words are bigger than the non-underlined words, it shows that Ponds wants to emphasize on the benefit of the product (which is nourished pink glow on its users’ face). However, if the sentence is related to the advertisement, it can be assumed that the man does not actually fall in love with the woman, instead he falls in love with her ‘nourished pink glow’. Or it is the ‘nourished pink glow’ from the product that makes the man falls in love with the woman. We cannot conclude without regarding the product since the product is there and is shown to us.

The promotion of this commercial successfully hegemonizes the society (in this case the viewer, particularly Asian women) that if they use Ponds White Beauty Detox, they will be looking beautiful for they have white skin and rossy cheeks. The viewers are made to believe that the man is not actually falling in love with the woan, instead he falls in love “with the nourished pink glow”. Here, Ponds tries to convey that beauty is not only white or pale white, but white with rossy color on the cheeks. Hereby, Ponds claims that only them who can give the pink glow to the customers.

The customers do not realize that it actually leads them to the system that legitimates their subordination since the ideology that Ponds conveys here is promoting what so-called “universal beauty” that is based on ‘western culture”. The Western still becomes the rulling class, especially in its ex-colonized lands. What can be seen from Ponds commercial is the rulling class domination vs. The ruled class through imaginative representations The media in this case the commercial may be conceptualized for maintaining the ideology and thereby hegemonize the society.

If there is a woman who bought the product as she is trying to get beautiful face (white with rossy cheek color on it), then the ideology that lies behind the product is hailed successfully. The messages in the described commercial itself hail the hypothetical viewer as a young woman who tries to get her love back. Then the commercial also hails her as a consumer who successfully proven the effectiveness of the product. The message seek to make the viewers recognized and accept particular forms of ideology, which are to sell the product and also to sell an ideology of “universal white beauty” along with romance.

It can be seen how ideology is able to survive among those people who are following and believing it. Althusser’s ideological theory does allow for resistance to ideology, and the hypothetical women who watch Ponds ad may do so. The slogan of Ponds “Pond’s understands that a beautiful skin is always important to a woman” underlies the easiness of imposing the ideology that only Ponds can make you feel beauty. In some ways, the whiteness concepts of this cosmetic can be related to racism, since it is direct or indirect saying that white is better than “not white”. It is another form of racism where the mass media resents hegemonic concept of beauty (white skin) while claiming that racism is a thing of the past. Ideology is all around us, no one can escape ideology. Even when an individual wants to free himself or herself from any ideology, they are actually adapting and adopting another ideology. An understanding of its attributes and mechanisms, in the context of mass communication and other realms, may aid us in evading its influence, or using it to our ends. Ads as part of cultural production is the primary bearer of ideology because it reaches so many people in what seems to be an innocent form: entertainment.

When we are being entertained in this case with the ads, our guard is down and we are in the most welcoming mode for any ideological programming. Cultural studies has been forced to rethink both idea of a single “dominant ideology” and the idea that that “dominant ideology serves the interests of those in power. *** REFERENCES Gray, Jennifer B. Althusser, Ideology, and Theoritical Foundation: Theory and Communication. The Journal of Media and Culture. Vol. 3 No. 1. 2005. Ponds. Taken from http://www. unilever. co. id/ourbrands/personalcare/ponds. asp. accessed on 17 March 2009.

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