Subliminal Messages in Advertising: Spry Living

I was flipping through the newspaper this morning and out fell this little insert.

It, like most magazines, is a treasure trove of subliminal societal messages, messages most of us don’t even question.

Let’s examine a few:

  • “Younger this year” isn’t physically possible, but you know what I mean, it says. You want to look younger & feel younger. The fact that it’s a headline–the headline–belies its importance. YOU MUST DO SOMETHING IMPOSSIBLE AS YOUR GOAL THIS YEAR. And who doesn’t want to feel younger and look younger? The value we place on this, however, is a societal cultural story we have about youth. It’s not innate.
  • You must be thinner in the New Year. Duh. This has always been the case. And look at the totally, younger, not-at-all-photoshopped Jillian Michaels. She can tell you all her secrets. Where did you get your air brush, Jillian?
  • These tasty nachos are so secretly healthy that you can eat them all you want. Go ahead, eat away your pain. Alternatively, there’s an even deeper story here that food can be shameful, that there’s a right or wrong to it.
  • You’re failing at weight loss because you haven’t found the right method yet.
  • Also, you’re doing exercise wrong.

Almost every item on the page screams you’re lacking something. That you don’t know something. And once you know it, it will be the magic holy grail. That’s how they sell magazines, my friends. That’s how they sell basically everything.

And the reason we buy it? Because we accept it as true. A little questioning can make the idea(l) crumble faster than an overbaked cookie.

What are you accepting as true that may not hold up under questioning?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *