(some) advertising makes you messed up and unhappy (possibly)

I’ve just read this article by Victoria Coren in The Guardian.

It suggests, somewhat disturbingly, that black women are much happier with themselves because mainstream media doesn’t represent them to quite the same extent that they do white women.

So all those pictures of Natalie Portman and Mila Kunis looking perfect are making white women feel bad about themselves, while the far lower number of perfect Tyra Banks and Halle Barry pictures means that black women don’t have the same opportunity to feel like shapeless old bags with no lives.


If that’s true then if you’ve ever done an ad with a beautiful person in it, you’ve made someone (possibly lots of people) fundamentally unhappy.

I did an ad with a beautiful person back in ’99. She was a model. They tend to be beautiful. And there was that ad I did with Posh Spice. Is she beautiful? She was quite nice. We had her eating crisps in a bath. She was charming and chatty and ate M&S low fat crisps. I don’t remember much else about it. It was only a morning. Then we did that Walkers ad that never ran where we had to film Simon Cowell and the X-Factor people. He was also very pleasant. Really owned the room when he walked in, though. Smoked like a burnt chimney. Sharon Osbourne was fun. I once had to wait backstage with her and Ozzy while they set up a shoot for the BBC. She told all sorts of salacious stories, mainly involving Judy Finnegan and a bottle of booze. And then there was that time Ricky Gervais did a voiceover for me. Good guy. Even when the (American) client kept trying to get him to do a posher accent he was fine about it. Hang on, what were we talking about again…?