First, one of the pieces by Scottish artist Robert Montgomery, an street artist who covers up advertising billboards with poetry:
I think that of the photos in the gallery (check out the article and gallery here) this was my favorite. It is extremely in step with what has been on my mind lately. Advertising is a LIE. It is the lie that life is better with "Product X." It is the lie that perfection is actually attainable, especially with the help of "Product X." The models are photoshopped and air brushed until they look like the poster children of perfection. They are in fact normal human beings, some are more attractive than average, who are digitally nipped and tucked (and this is after a lengthy sit in the makeup chair!) into what somehow became the standard of beauty. They have blemishes, they probably don't have as amazing abs, or as nicely shaped arms and legs, their lips probably aren't as full, etc. And yet, we see them on a billboard or in the pages of a magazine and we believe that image is a "true" representation of the model. That if they are able to look that good, well, so can we. And we torture ourselves trying to live up to this standard, which is nothing more than A LIE.
And this is the worst part: our striving to achieve this standard is exactly what keeps these companies in business. Their ads always tell us one thing, and that is not just that their product is amazing, but that we are unhappy. They tell us that in order to be happy we NEED their product. Amazingly enough, even when we buy the product, we somehow don't actually end up being any happier than we were prior to it's purchase, often times less (especially if it is related to health and beauty). But have no fear, a year later they will have re-branded "Product X" into "Product Y" and a new model will sell us that picture perfect image of perfection and happiness that we so desperately want, and we will buy away and strive away, until our souls wither away.
Now here is an awesome video that illustrates just how deceitful advertising is and how powerful a tool like Adobe Photoshop can be: