Proud2Bme | Poking Fun at the Messed Up Messages in Advertising

Poking Fun at the Messed Up Messages in Advertising

Advertisers go to great lengths to get us to buy stuff. They manipulate, they make promises, and they play on our insecurities. A new project is skewering all those taglines and glossy images.

The Purple Paper Project places virtual post-its on ads that send harmful messages, using humor to point out what the ad is really saying. In response to a SnackWell's "Be Bad. Snack Well." ad, the Purple Paper Project says: "Dressing sexy is the good kind of bad, but eating fattening treats is the bad kind of bad." So yes, let's all make sure to avoid those "bad" foods and slip on our black stiletto boots instead!

Founder Nancy Lynne Kanter was sick of all the mixed messages, so she decided to turn them around.

"The more I started paying attention to these messages, the more I realized how manipulative, insulting, and sexist they were. And I also realized that I was buying right into them...Advertising is a one-way form of communication in which powerful corporations try to persuade us to spend our money by manipulating our insecurity. The 'Purple Paper Project' is about turning this into a two-way conversation. Consumers have powerful voices too, and it’s about time that we started talking back."

On an ad that says we should "Expect flawless, fabulous style. John Freida--expect perfect." The Purple Paper Project puts it simply: "If you 'expect flawless' and 'expect perfect,' you'd better expect insecurity."

Watch a slideshow of The Purple Paper Project images.



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Proud2Bme is an online community created by and for teens. We cover everything from fashion and beauty to news, culture, and entertainment—all with the goal of promoting positive body image and encouraging healthy attitudes about food and weight.

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