A UK advert promoting ‘Back to School Botox’ for mothers is the cosmetics industry’s latest attempt exploit women’s insecurities for profit.
Glowday, a website that allows users to compare aesthetic procedure suppliers, promoted ‘back to school Botox’ in September 2022.
The ad, featuring a woman and child on their way to school, said: “What treatments are good for Mums on the school run? By far the most popular poison of choice, Botox.”
Historian and Director of Gender Studies at University College Dublin Professor Mary McAuliffe told Newstalk Breakfast that the ad was banned because the cosmetic website “deliberately” created anxieties about the perfect body to sell its services.
Prof McAuliffe said, “It's ridiculous to think that women would want to be getting Botox for two or three minutes stop-off at the school gate so that they look good before they go about their busy day.”
She said these insecurities are used by Glowday, but are created by the beauty and cosmetic industries deliberately, “so that they can be exploited for profit”.
“These multinational companies - particularly the beauty industry - create these anxieties about the perfect body,” she said.
“But they break the body down into its component parts, so you have to have the perfect face, perfect breasts, the perfect looks.”
Real issues with young men
Prof McAuliffe told the show the cosmetic problem is quickly expanding to affect young men too.
According to Prof McAuliffe, the beauty and cosmetic industries are reaching an “end point” for how much they can profit from women, so they are now turning their attention to increasing male customers.
She said going to the gym can create insecurities in young men about their bodies.
'We need to have some standards'
Prof McAuliffe commended the UK Advertising Standard Authority for banning the Botox ad, but she warned that many advertisements that are “just as bad may have slipped through”.
“We need to have some standards, obviously, ways of dealing with this,” she said.
Prof McAuliffe recommended “teaching young kids and particularly teenagers about loving their own bodies and, and not conforming to the standards.”
You can listen back here: