A Better Me?

:

Shin Min-a Olivetv Advertisment( Source: Korea Times )

An advertisement from OliveTV that caught my eye today. Ironically, far from delivering its intended message, it serves better as a subtle indictment of it.

Shin Min-a Olivetv Advertisment( Source: Korea Times )

An advertisement from OliveTV that caught my eye today. Ironically, far from delivering its intended message, it serves better as a subtle indictment of it.

Presumably the logic is that through watching and following the advice of the channel’s plethora of fashion and cosmetic shows, one can transform one’s appearance, much like the uncharacteristically drab-looking Shin Min-a (신민아) on the left supposedly did. This is rather clearer in the following commercial, and which perhaps OliveTV ought to have restricted itself to, as apparently the results are only temporary!

But it was more the difference between real life and the photoshopped image that first came to mind personally, only spoiled by the (typical) absence of an “a” and a question mark included in the text. Indeed, coming from any other source, I might normally have assumed that that was the deliberate intention, but unfortunately that is very unlikely here. It is merely a badly-executed ad.

If it piques your interest in the use of photoshop in advertising though, then please check out my “Korean Photoshop Disasters” series, and you may also like this recent New York Times report on moves by French and British lawmakers to force all media companies to disclose the use of digital alteration in images (hat tip to Illusionists). Alternatively, for those of you more interested in the artistic side of things (and on the theme of juxtapositions in particular), then you may like the some of the images in this post.

Finally, if you can appreciate the notion that the image on the right is an impossible ideal for the real Shin Min-a or any other woman to live up to, and yet has strong influences on their body ideals, behavior, confidence, and consumption patterns nevertheless, then like me you may find “hyperreality” a useful and intriguing concept with which to study advertising. But please don’t be put off by the obscure terminology: see here for a good overall guide, and here, here, here and here for some examples and applications of it to the Korean context.

Confronting the Korean Simulacrum( Source: Unknown)

In that vein, let me leave you with the thought that perhaps – paraphrasing Umberto Eco – the advertisement is an imitation of the original that we’re not only able to better enjoy, but also one we can do so with “the conviction that imitation has reached its apex and afterwards reality will always be inferior to it”? Granted, Eco was discussing a wholly different topic, but the sentiment seems fitting.

Share

to paraphrase Umberto Eco, perhaps an imitation of the original that we’re not only able to better enjoy, but also one we can do so with “the conviction that imitation has reached its apex and afterwards reality will always be inferior to it”. Granted, Eco was discussing a wholly different topic, but the sentiment seems fitting.

Posted in Korean Advertisements, Korean Men’s Body Images, Korean Women’s Body Images Tagged: 신만아, 포토샵, 올리브tv, Olivetv, Photoshop, Shin Min-a, Shin Mina



Leave a Comment