‘No need to be ugly to save the planet’

// 2 March 2009

This ad appeared in Belgium, and apparently advertises biodegradable cosmetics, with a ‘before’ and ‘after’ shot, and a tagline which translates “no need to be ugly to save the planet”.

I have to warn you that I wasn’t able to find any other references to this company ‘biocorner’, other than this advert and comments about it. Any Belgian readers who know more about this?

No comment needed, I’m sure:


Comments From You

Princess Rot // Posted 2 March 2009 at 9:45 pm

Jess, it’s OT, but I’d consider submitting the pornulated woman on the right to Photoshop Disasters. Why are misogynist ad-makers so afraid of evident bone structure in women? Does the absence of shoulders, neck,collarbone, and most of your ribcage make you sexxxay?


Jackie Bather // Posted 2 March 2009 at 9:56 pm

Unfortunately,I’m not Belgian so can’t offer any information on the company concerned…but analysing the photo’s, it seems that prominent breasts and a sultry look= eco-campaigner+bonkable partner.Woolly hat+mac=eco-campaigner+non bonkable partner.I despair…unspeakably grim…

Anne Onne // Posted 2 March 2009 at 11:17 pm

I’m quite impressed she can get her breasts to do that strange floaty thi…no, wait, it’s just a terrible photoshop job.

*sigh* Because you can’t take a woman’s opinion seriously unless she’s showing yards of unnatural cleavage, has hair like a shampoo advert, has a sexy come-hither look, and poses like a model. You know what? the people who won’t listen to what a woman’s saying, won’t listen to the message even if you trot out a hundred naked women for your cause. Shame you think that this is actually new or funny. What a waste of an advert.

Seriously, I take my hat off to those of you advertising/design people who aren’t sexist etc and try to produce more than the same old tripe. Must be heart rending for creative people to see the same old oppressive crap reused every day. I’m sure there are plenty of ideas that wouldn’t have to rely on this, and plenty of people who want to come up with something different.

Have this company been talking to PETA, perchance? Seems like the depressing hot!ethical!fuckable!babes! cancer is spreading…

Victoria // Posted 2 March 2009 at 11:33 pm

Personally I think that the woman in the ‘Save the Whales’ T-shirt looks much more attractive than the woman on the right. She has a real smile and a real face. Fake pictures have never appealed to me at all. I don’t understand how they can appeal to anybody.

JenniferRuth // Posted 3 March 2009 at 9:33 am

Wow – I can care about the environment AND pander to the male gaze!? It’s like a dream come true!

Kez // Posted 3 March 2009 at 10:18 am

I wonder which advertising agency was paid to come up with that little gem! Clever advertising. Not.

I wonder how Belgian women have responded, and whether this campaign has actually increased sales of the product?

Kez // Posted 3 March 2009 at 12:25 pm

What makes it even sillier is that the two women are clearly dressed for completely different occasions. The first for a… well, a Save the Whales demonstration, apparently, while the second appears to be on her way to the Oscars.

Sabre // Posted 3 March 2009 at 1:40 pm


Exactly what JenniferRuth said!

Jess McCabe // Posted 3 March 2009 at 2:37 pm

Kez, I think that’s part of the point.

The advert is saying “environmental activism isn’t about protests or direct action, it’s about consuming products” – i.e. no need to go to the bother of getting out on the streets, where you might want a few warm layers. No need to interrupt your existing cycle of consumption and efforts to look like you’ve been photoshopped!

Interestingly enough, I just got added on Twitter by an environmental campaign called “Hot Women”. Here they explain how they want to sell climate change with “sex”. Will it never end? I blame PETA for starting this crap.

Saranga // Posted 3 March 2009 at 3:26 pm

I prefer the before shot. OK so they’ve got her to smile geekily ( like geeks) and she’s got spots/blemishes. so what? She looks real, interesting and fun, and i like her smile.

Enough of this photoshopped airbrushed beauty standard. thee’s more than one type of beauty in the world.

Kuja // Posted 3 March 2009 at 4:07 pm

Somehow I think the efforts of a Save the Whales campaigner will be a lot more proactive and influential than those of a woman who only switches to biodegradable cosmetics, but it’s nice to see what’s more important in the world we live in. I’m sure future generations will thank us for looking good rather than actually doing any campaigning!

Not to say that biodegradable cosmetics aren’t an improvement on non-biodegradable ones, but really. Let’s see some sense of priority here, eh?

Kez // Posted 3 March 2009 at 4:28 pm

Jess – yeah, I see what you mean. “Never mind all that tedious eco-warrior nonsense, you can save the planet just by buying our products!”.

Fair enough in one way that they should seek to sell make-up by showing someone wearing said make-up. (Not that she is, probably.) But the uber-glam makeover just seems ridiculous, and the “message” is plainly nonsense. Still can’t believe anyone thought this campaign was a good idea.

Rachel // Posted 3 March 2009 at 5:06 pm

But… that doesn’t even look like the same woman! It makes no sense!

Ledh // Posted 3 March 2009 at 8:21 pm

I’m a Belgian girl and have not seen this ad anywhere (yet). Nor do I know this company. I tried googling them from Belgian Google but no luck. the ad is really stupid IMHO, but I don’t think Belgian women would respond to this negatively. They’d laugh. (the people I know would anyway).

Fran // Posted 4 March 2009 at 8:54 am

One good (but unintended) effect of the ad: Since the two images are, as far as I can tell, the same photo ‘shopped in different ways, they demonstrate just how much digital alteration is done to the women in adverts to bring them to a standard we’re supposed to emulate. Of course, that’s more than cancelled out by the message about what is and isn’t acceptable for a woman to look like.

This looks like another ad by the same company, which I think is a much nicer application of the same principle:


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