The image: Julia Roberts and Christy Turlington are beautiful, but not disorientingly flawless, according to the U.K.'s Advertising Standards Authority (ASA). The organization banned two makeup ads earlier this week — a Lancome shot starring the Oscar-winner and a Maybelline ad featuring the supermodel — for being "overly photoshopped." (See the ads below.) Parliament member Jo Swinson, who is spearheading the campaign against "overly perfected and unrealistic images" of women in advertisements, says the photos are "not representative of the results the product could achieve." L'Oreal, which owns the two makeup companies, concedes that the photos were enhanced, and refused to provide the ASA with un-airbrushed versions of the ads for comparison.
The reaction: "Gorgeous as they are," says Charlotte Cowles at New York, Roberts and Turlington look nowhere near as freakish as their photoshopped counterparts. Not only is the ASA's goal of more "truthful" advertisements a "worthy" objective, it's a "reasonable" one, too. But is anyone actually shocked by this, asks Rebecca Odes at Babble. Otherwise discerning adults have long been "semi-willing participants" in the charade of digitally falsified ads. The practice is common knowledge; we even retouch our own photos. "If we don't see how we're being sold a bill of goods, it's because we don't want to." Check out the ads: