If there's one thing we can all agree on, it's that the beauty industry is filled with double standards, ranging from weight to ethnicity to age. No matter where we go, we're met face to face with advertisements and products that dictate what we should look like — and the messages are often mixed. That's exactly what the new, appropriately dubbed campaign Stop The Beauty Madness is trying to combat.
The campaign contains a series of 25 advertisements that are all "branded" with messages that speak to what is actually going on in the photos. "I am not anorexic. I am not sick. I'm not a 'lucky dog,'" reads one photo of a slender model. "I'm thin. It's a body type." Another is a photo of a woman with the ever-present "thigh gap" with the words "my worth" stuck between them.
Contradictory images? Maybe, but they speak to a larger issue in the beauty industry. "Even if you fit the mold, you get in trouble for fitting the mold," Robin Rice, Stop The Beauty Madness' founder, told The Huffington Post. "You can't win." That's the truth across all aspects of the industry, which is why Stop The Beauty Madness takes a sweeping approach. "Naturally thin women, or women who choose to work out and have really buff bodies, or elderly women, are not excluded from this conversation," Rice explains. "They get their own backlash."
Stop The Beauty Madness has a unique approach compared to other so-called empowering movements in that it's all-encompassing. It proves that there is no one standard of beauty that we should all try to attain. What one person considers beautiful may not fit within another person's definition of the word. Since there are so many of us, it would be ludicrous to expect us all to squeeze into one category.
The campaign doesn't point fingers, though. Instead of just calling out the "evil industry" as the enemy, it holds up a mirror to consumers and explains how they're also perpetuating these insane standards — by believing them and feeding into them. "Maybe the next time you look at a magazine, you may have a split second in which you question whether or not that gets in your head again," Rice says. "We want to create that split second where you think, 'Wait a minute. Do I really believe this?'"
It's all a matter of changing our perception, and that's what this campaign is striving to achieve. Click through to see some of the powerful photographs, and then head over to Stop The Beauty Madness to check out even more.