Beautiful gives her daughter something to look forward to

That’s the caption for an Elizabeth Arden ad I saw in O Magazine. Here it is:

I know there’s hardly any point in getting pissed off about sexist ads from cosmetic companies, but the mom being “beautiful” gives her daughter something to look forward to?

Are you kidding me?

What really drives me crazy about this fucked up commercial is that we get all pissed off and holier than thou about moms who put their daughters in beauty pageants or shows like “Toddlers and Tiaras.” This ad from Elizabeth Arden in a mainstream magazine sends the exact same message: mothers and daughters are connected by a mutual obsession with beauty, and beauty will lead them both to success and adventure.

The difference between “Toddlers and Tiaras” and this Elizabeth Arden ad? Class. Moms with money may buy expensive cream. Moms with less money may put their kids in beauty pageants. Getting upset by one and not the other is like saying you’re not an alcoholic as long as you drink aged scotch or expensive wine. We owe our children more than this.

Elizabeth Arden, my daughters have more to look forward to than being “beautiful.” Please leave my kids out of your stupid commercial.

If you agree and are offended by this ad, please tell Elizabeth Arden on its Facebook page.

17 thoughts on “Beautiful gives her daughter something to look forward to

  1. I don’t see this ad as a “maybe when I grow up, I’ll gain success through beauty like my mom.” I don’t feel that this ad is something to be offended by. It almost seems like more of a genetic influence, and the products assist in bringing out the NATURAL beauty the daughter has to “look forward to.” Toddlers and Tiaras’ message is point blank: Prettiness and perfection in “cuteness” means you succeed.

  2. I think you miss the message if you look at this advertisement with a narrow definition of “beauty”. Elizabeth Arden’s famous tagline is: “To be beautiful is the birthright of every woman.” Feeling beautiful is not neccesarily about physical perfection, it is about feeling pride and confidence in yourself. The product being advertised is a skincare range for 50+ post-menopausal skin, so her “daughter” could quite possibly be in her 20’s or 30’s – a far cry from toddlers in tiaras. The way I see it is that the “mother” feels beautiful due to the pride she takes in herself, and that her “daughter” can admire her and feel comfortable to one day be in her mother’s shoes. If you follow Elizabeth Arden’s advertising campaign you will see that they usually refer to a character appearing in their visuals as “Beautiful”, almost as if it were their name.
    Some other quotes from Elizabeth Arden relating to “beauty” include:
    “Beautiful is a lifetime of laughter.”
    “Beautiful is how you wear your confidence.”
    “Beautiful never looks back.”
    “Beautiful is knowing you are one-of-a-kind.”

  3. Pingback: Letter to Vogue mom who put 7 yr old daughter on diet | Diet Program Advice - simple daily diet and healthy eating tips

  4. You are taking this totally out of context. There is no comparison between Elizabeth Arden (this ad or company in general) and toddlers in tiaras! I am a counter manager for Arden and can not tell you how many women come in and are concerned about how they look. When women leave our counters they feel beautiful. I am sorry those who do not believe that if a women feels beautiful that they can confidence and what comes after confidence ladies??? Success, that is correct. Lets not forget that Elizabeth Arden is who we have to thank for the makeup in shades of our skin!!!

    And not to mention our creams are not as pricey as our other competitors.

    • Hi Ashley,
      This is not the products or the customers, is the ad about giving your daughter beautiful as something to look forward to. It is that message that is the same message as Toddlers and Tiaras, that mothers and daughters are connected by beauty obsession with beauty nd that beauty will lead them to success adventure.


  5. sfgate seems to have been hijacked by wingnut trolls. I have read it is a favorite target.
    Yes, this commercial sucks–but that is what beauty corporations are all about. Selling eternal youth to aging women, (and men too.) It would be far preferable if E. Arden, etc., would not use a sexist “being forever beautiful,” ad campaign, and drag daughters into the whole thing–it’s also somewhat confusing. Is the daughter going to be better off if her mother remains “beautiful?”, or is it also about training young girls to worry about becoming “beautiful?” Both, I suppose.
    As far as the beauty pageant thing, it is VERY expensive to have a child compete in one. Lots more than a jar of cream. The dresses alone are in the hundreds of $$$, and the pageant fees are ridiculous. Those pageant moms probably cannot afford it, but do it anyway.

    • Hi Sophie,

      I know the dresses are expensive, but it is still class issue, beyond dollars. Women who look down at moms who put daughters in a beauty pageants should be upset about this commercial that send the same message about what to value in girls and what daughters should aspire to be.


  6. So strange – you get so many mean comments from males on the sfgate comments.

    I agree with your perspective. So sorry for all that hate they are sending to you on sfgate comments.

    I guess here is where your supporters comment

Leave a Reply