“Beauty Pressure” is an ad, created by the Dove industry in which, through the use of different appeals, portrays a solemn issue that society is not dealing with at its full, which the beauty industry setting unreal standards of beauty. In contrast, the work “Celia: A Slave” depicts what it was like, for an African-American, to live in the antebellum as a slave. This is done by painting a picture from two perspectives of a homicide court case. Through this essay the comparison between purposes, audiences, credibility, logic, and emotion of the previous stated works will be demonstrated through facts and analysis.
Audience and Purpose
The “Beauty Pressure” ad is intended for middle and high class women who have daughters. This is because within those classes beauty can be seen advertised the most. From billboards, to commercials, to magazines and newspapers beauty ads have made women feel ‘unsatisfied’ to get them to purchase a variety of products however, these standards are the cause of millions of eating disorders. The purpose of the ad is to persuade mothers to talk to their children before the beauty industry does. In contrast, “Celia: A Slave” targeted audiences are people, around the age of 17 and 24, of any race though born and/or raised in the U.S. The reason being is that the book is a part of history that every citizen should be familiar with. The purpose of this academic work is to enlighten people of the predicaments of the antebellum and, to educate them on the struggles African-Americans went through because of the old beliefs.
The “Beauty Pressure” ad was created by a prestigious beauty industry; Dove, which builds its credibility by embracing natural beauty. The industry has been creating aging lotions for women, as well as skin protectors, hair treatment etc. however, it does not advertise makeup or any type of product that helps the ‘hiding’ of imperfections but it rather promotes products to enhance natural beauty. On the other hand, “Celia: A Slave” builds credibility because of the fact that is based on records, correspondences, and newspaper accounts (past and present) related to the court case of Celia. This particular court case became very famous because it generated threats towards the institution of slavery therefore, many accounts were recorded.
The emotional appeal in “Beauty Pressure” ad is approached by highlighting the specific parts of beauty advertisements that make girls and women feel unsatisfied about their physical appearance. To embody this, an onslaught is showed, highlighting specific words used by informative commercials that constantly appear on TV: “lighter, tighter, softer, younger, smaller, thinner”. Overall, the ad created an emotional appeal by taking the viewer to the future worst-case scenario (eating disorders and pill consumption) in which their daughters could end up if not educated properly. Similarly, the emotional appeal in “Celia: A Slave” is approached by emphasizing the thoughts and feelings of Celia after the ultimatum that her lover, George, put on her of giving an end to the ‘relationship’ (sexual abuses) between Celia and her master. “Desperately seeking some means of complying with George’s ultimatum, Celia threatened to hurt her master’s if he made any further sexual demands for her” (McLaurin, 34). This kind of wording works because the reader can affiliate with Celia and George, and feel empathy and justification for Celia’s further actions. It sets a picture of tragedy and pain, associating the slave institution as immoral and distressing.
The “Beauty Pressure” ad approaches the logical appeal by enhancing the usage of every day products and images and, using them to create a cause-effect scenario. The ad illustrated the origin of the problem (beauty standards set by the industry) and, the outcome of these standards (eating disorders, pill consumption etc.). Dove used a thin girl measuring her waist with a measuring tape to promote a weight loss product. This image worked because this kind of publicity is seen everywhere, from magazines to even Special-K cereal boxes. In contrast, “Celia: A Slave” approaches the logical appeal by identifying the different perspectives of the situation. From the white community perspective, a slave had refused to accept her master’s approach when she was not permitted to, she afterwards committed a crime therefore, deserved to die. From the slavery abolisher’s perspective, a woman committed a crime as a way of self-defense towards the forceful sexual approaches of a man therefore, deserved to be heard and have a fair trial. This works as a logical advance because it states facts over the two different perspectives, and it elaborates on them through the interpretation of the law. “The legal code in effect at the time of the trial, made it a crime to take away any woman unlawfully against her will and by force, menace or duress, compel to be defiled” (McLaurin, 107). The entire book revolves around the different interpretations of the wording of the code as it referred to “any woman”.
The “Beauty Pressure” ad’s structure is arranged as cause and effect. It presents the source of the problem, which is the beauty industry making the spectator feel unsatisfied about their physical appearance, and it bestows the consequences from less serious to extreme. On the other hand, “Celia: A Slave” follows a chronological structure, in which printed documents and articles are arranged by date as evidence to sustain facts.
In conclusion, the two different genres use a similar approach to the emotional appeal, given that they both strive to develop negative feelings towards the particular institution (beauty industry and slave institution). However, Dove’s credibility was approached overall by the name of the company, while the book built its own by the gathering of documents and accurate information. Logos was also approached differently; Dove used a gathering of every day images and highlighted the problem in them. The book however focused on two different perspectives and supported them by facts.
McLaurin, M. (1999).Celia, A Slave. New York: Avon Books.