Food & Fitness

Interpretations of Marketing Strategies: National Identities and Beauty Products

This is my last week of exams and final papers, and then I will truly be on holidays (cue streamers and balloons, please). I’m looking forward to it! As a Rhetoric student, one of the classes I took this term was Rhetoric of Identity, which examined how our national identities are shaped within our societies across the globe. For my final paper, I am writing about the effects of ad campaigns on consumers in different countries; particularly the Olay ad campaigns. I’m interested in how our gendered identities are constructed depending on where we live in the world. For example, the Olay ad campaign focuses a lot on anti-aging here in North America, presumably because of the baby boomer demographic. However, in South East Asia, the main focus is on Westernization, with products such as whitening cream. Some of the messages that the ads tell us, I kind of like. Other messages, I strongly dislike. Regardless, all of them are fascinating! I thought that you all might be interested in some of the images I found whilst doing my research:

correct your ageBecause apparently 42 is old? …and there’s even an ad with the age 33, too, believe it or not.

love the skin you're inAnti cosmetic surgery

olaynaturescienceOlay is “natural” (what exactly is “natural”, anyway?)

i really don't know why she hates meFor every woman who wants to be a step higher than all the rest?

now you can have an olay body…because you’re only truly beautiful if you have the Olay body.

surgical markers can do prettier thingsMoisturizer… surgery… moisturizer… surgery… tough call.

twiggy-then-oil-of-olayTwiggy looks healthier (with Olay, I’m guessing)

What do you think of these ads? What do the beauty advertisements target in the part of the world that you live in? Have you noticed these trends in other products? I’d love to hear your thoughts!

Day Seven of the 200 Reps Challenge

On Saturday I completely forgot to do my 200 Reps Challenge. Somehow it just slipped my mind! So yesterday, I did 200 reps of four exercises- the ones from Saturday and Sunday. Thank goodness they were all slightly easier and more enjoyable exercises; if it had been walking lunges or shoulder presses it would have been a brutal day yesterday.

I think it’s really important to adjust your schedule as necessary when something unexpected comes up. If you find that you can’t quite bring yourself to do 200 reps, try 100 reps to begin with. If you don’t do the exercises on one day, add some in the day after. Challenges such as this one are useful for the overview they give us with how to achieve a balance of a variety of fitness in our lives, no matter how busy we may be. On to today’s challenge!

20 Dumbbell Press and Core Rolls (targets core, shoulders, and chest)

20 Side Leg Raises (targets glutes and outer thigh muscles)

Complete this set ten times for a total of 200 dumbbell press and core rolls and 200 side leg raises!

For the Dumbbell Press and Core Roll:

1. Take a stability ball and rest your shoulders on it, lifting up your body so that your feet are flat on the floor and so that your body makes a straight line from your knees to your shoulders. Hold a dumbbell in your left hand at shoulder height.

2. Press up with the dumbbell so that your left arm makes a long straight line into the air. Grasp your left wrist with your right hand and rotate your body to the left side so that the dumbbell comes down to the same level as the stability ball (keep your arms out straight; your right shoulder should be off the ball). Return to starting position. This is one rep; when you have completed all the reps for this side, repeat on your right side.

TIP: Push through your heels and lift up your bum so that your body doesn’t sag in the middle. As always, keep those abdominals engaged!

For the Side Leg Raises:

1. Attach ankle weights, if you own them, to your ankles. Stand beside a doorway or a chair or another sturdy object and hold onto it for support with your right hand. Keep your left hand on your hip. Lift up your left leg and bring it forward in front of your right leg just so that your ankles cross.

2. Raise your leg back the other way so that it is extended away from your body as high as it will go; don’t bend the leg. Bring the leg back across your standing right leg. This is one rep. When you have completed all of your reps on this side, switch and do the same number of reps on the other side.

TIP: Bring your leg as far as you can comfortably across the opposite ankle to work the inner thigh, too.

If you do not own a stability ball, you can also do the first exercise on a bench or, failing that, even the floor. Don’t worry if you don’t own ankle weights- simply perform the same exercise without the weights. Your body weight will still provide a good workout.

Don’t forget to answer this month’s poll!


  1. The Candid RD

    Ugh, I could go on and on about how much I hate all of these ads and commercials for anti-aging creams, makeup, etc. It’s crazy. I’m 26 and sometimes with all of these ads it makes me look twice at my own face, and I start pointing out flaws of my own. I hate it! I try not to pay attention to the ads, and I fast forward through commercials when I cane. I appreciated this post, it really pointed out a serious issue.

    Regarding the first ad, I think it’s saying that the cream will make you look 42 if you are 48. Right? It’s not saying 42 is old, it’s saying 48 is old. Am I wrong?

    Have a great day.

  2. Dr. J

    I thought 42 was the answer to the ultimate question? You know, life, the universe, that stuff?

    I think the answer lies in building our self-esteem, and that way, our true colors will come shinning through!

  3. Sagan Morrow

    Coco- I think so too- we SHOULD honestly truly “love the skin we’re in”. Unfortunately, as all of these beauty products prove, most of us DON’T. But the surgery ads are very powerful!

    The Candid RD- Ooh. Good point. Perhaps I misinterpreted it. Even so, 48, old? That’s still silly.

    Dr. J- Why yes, yes it is! But in this case, they aren’t using 42 that way. At least, I don’t think they are, because there’s also an ad that uses the number 33. Although that WOULD be very clever on their part if they only had the ad with the 42.

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