Sunday, 20 May 2007

#24 Miss Misinformation...

If only this world of ours traded in fact. The blacks and the whites - the truth, without falsification, misinformation or exaggeration. I get that voice in my head - the Big Daddy voice from Cat on a Hot Tin Roof - 'Mendacity!' - about a hundred times a day. Overhearing conversations, watching the news, scouring websites and yes, reading magazines. Fashion's one thing - I'm sick to the back teeth of misshaped morsels of fur, plastic, feather or leather being proclaimed 'IT' or 'MUST-HAVE' - but it's the beauty pages that really rub me up the wrong way. I read an article last week with so many horrendous howlers in it that I assumed it was a case of the editor-in-chief filling in the product 'blanks' - with little, or no, research (but a lot of ad. revenue) behind the choices. An oil-free foundation was recommended - except, it wasn't oil-free; an oil-free concealer was mentioned - except, ahem, once again, it had an oil-rich formula and the article even stated that one should 'use a tinted moisturiser as they all contain oil to leave a dewy glow.' Er, hello? I can name at least three tinted moisturisers that do not contain oil - including Clinique's fabulous Moisture Sheer Tints. Perhaps it's unfair to zoom in on this one article, but I'm simply using it as a case in point. I know the beauty ed. who wrote the piece (she's wonderful and one of the best in the biz) which is why it got me thinking about all the recycled misinformation that passes through the beauty pages every year. It also gets me angry as it's letting the readers down. Plain and simple. I used to scour the beauty pages as a teenager, hungry for the thing to fix my spots, brighten my complexion, erase my dark circles... did I ever find the answer I was looking for? Occassionally, rarely. Admittedly, a cream that works wonders on one complexion might be disastrous on another and there's no denying that this beauty biz of mine is deeply objective and therefore trades in inherently unreliable information. But, there are a lot of facts out there. Not spouted, spin-doctored statistics, but real, true hard ingredient lists and test results, alongside reliable recommendations and expert advice. So, why do we still find ourselves with magazines that miss the mark? Because, unfortunately, the truth is in the eye of the advertiser - and though the halls of magazine houses may be filled with the scent of perfume, there's also the unmistakable 'powerful and obnoxious odor of mendacity in the room' too, with the big bucks behind the entire operation shifting the focus from fact, to fact-imitating fiction. Ain't that right Big Daddy?

No comments: