Monday, February 21, 2005

real beauty & noel edmonds

At the moment big billboards and bus-sides are advertising a thing called Campaign For Real Beauty.

It is actually just an extensive ad campaign for Dove soap, but that slight deception is not the real issue.

There's a website,, whose front page says;

For too long, beauty has been defined by narrow, stifling stereotypes. You've told us it's time to change all that. We agree. Because we believe real beauty comes in many shapes, sizes and ages.

By 'beauty' they don't mean beauty, they mean the miniscule subsection of beauty devoted to human fanciability.

There are four different posters in the campaign showing the breadth and scope of human beauty, a sweep out to all the contentious boundary areas.

There is a woman with loads of freckles.

There is a woman with grey hair.

There is a woman who is quite fat.

There is a woman who is old.

Do you see an omission yet?

Men, for all their recent targetting by deodorant and hair gel marketing, are still not to be considered beautiful.

The cartoon cliche of a man being shot in the arse and running to the horizon clutching himself would never be tolerated if the victim were a woman.

Men have to be infallible and invincible, accordingly their bodies are meant to be tough. Tenderness is vulnerability, beauty is often delicate; it means you're not invincible. Even when blokes hug it tends to be something not tender, that big backslappy thing, 'I know I'm touching him, but I'm still sort of hitting him'.

I know, I know, another rant about how advertising is such a profoundly damaging activity and, as Bill Hicks said, simply the most evil concept ever. Tell us something we don't know, Merrick.

But this kind of advertising is so crafty and insidious it does warrant special attention.

Rather like the cuddly-sounding Renewable Energy Foundation, it's using the language of wise change in order to prevent that very change.

The REF, incidentally, is actually just an anti-wind turbines organisation masquerading as concerned green energy people. Dig around in their statements and there are phrases like 'in the medium and even longer-term, a non-confrontational relationship with fossil fuels is essential', and they talk with a straight face about pumping CO2 into geological strata gaps as some sort of solution.

It's chairman is Noel Edmonds who, apart from being a twat of the very highest order, has business interests in motor sports, does power boat racing, and organises Helifest, a gathering for people who like him are helicopter pilots and enthusiasts. His personal website biography boasts

Throughout his long and successful broadcasting career, Noel Edmonds engaged in promotional advertising and product endorsement campaigns for many of the UK's most famous brands. He established particularly strong links with not only leading car manufacturers, but also companies such as British Airways, Adidas, Cellnet, BT, Coca Cola and Sony.

The man who races cars at Le Mans, flies a personal helicopter, makes adverts encouraging us to buy more cars and plane tickets is also chairman of the Meeting Without Moving Foundation, which he says is there to promote 'a culture in which unnecessary travel is recognised as irresponsible, undesirable and antisocial.'

More greenwash from the fatuous tosser. His motive for the MWMF is business interests in video conferencing technology and the like. If he were upfront about that it wouldn't be so bad, but this pompous and hypocritical eco-spiel is perniciousness that makes Mr Blobby comparitively forgiveable. Which is not something I say lightly.

Advertising is there to figure out our deepest desires, then trigger reactions from them in order to sell us poison and junk.

Using our firm belief that beauty is not about objectifying women and which cosmetics you use, that it's about things other than glamour and modelling and conformity, they sell us the products and ideas that actually reinforce that lie.

To quote Bill again - and frankly that's something that lets you know you're on the right track with an idea - the marketing people have figured out there's a lot of people who hate marketing and advertising so they're tailoring marketing to them. The anti-marketing market is becoming huge business.


Anonymous said...

Noel Edmonds is the face of real beauty on this small planet.

I intend to see to it that a law is passed to ensure that everyone, male or female, be required to wear a Noel Edmonds mask during the act of love-making.

That is the only tribute worthy of the great man.

Sincerely yours,
M. Howard.

Gael said...

Its a bit like the US arming Saddam, the Taliban etc. Create a monster then try and destroy it. Very good for business.

Anonymous said...

have plans for a funny 'ousting' of edmonds and his association with REF who somehow have managed to get credible media coverage (must be the £22k they spent on PR and disseminating 'information' last year). Need help with dirt undug.... got your shovel out to help?

clive said...

I want to help you shut down that stinking 'Renewable energy Foundation'. Why oh why do the media keep falling for that anti wind farm NIMBY con job when they should be exposing the scandal that it really is.

merrick said...

Clive, to be fair there have been some shockingly bad proposals for wind farm sites. Draining peat bogs - thus causing them to decay and release huge amounts of carbon, as well as destroying rare wildlife habitat - is ridiculous for a supposedly environmental scheme.

Personally, I was really glad when the Lewis mega-farm was turned down.

Oddshore wind farms are more expensive to build, and take a little more resource input too, but they don't do anything like the habitat damage (as long as they're not on bird migration routes).

Changes to the government's Renewables Obligation coming in next year will tip the incentives toward offshore wind, so hopefully this'll change.

But broadly, yes I agree, the NIMBY arguments against windfarms are pathetic. I was recently in South Norfolk where there are villages that are campaigning *for* a bypass and *against* new wind tubines.

Which one do they think would do the most damage to the landscape?

And that's before we talk about the environmental impacts of encouraging car use and discouraging renewable power.

If they think turbines will affect their landscape, what do they think climate change will do?

I think there should be a deal - anywhere that does get a bypass has to have turbines along its length.

Any argument about the impact of turbines to do with landscape impact, noise or whatever applies more to a bypass.