Have you ever thought to yourself, “Man, I’d love to see a plastic surgery ad featuring a Disney princess character commonly marketed towards children. That would really make me want to go under the knife.” No? Me either. But apparently the people behind Clinica Dempere, a plastic surgery center in Venezuela, thought that would be just the thing to entice new customers to their practice. Check out their ad featuring Ariel of The Little Mermaid:
The ad is problematic in so many ways. The depiction of the Little Mermaid jumping straight out of the ocean onto a plastic surgeon’s table, her face and torso covered in a sheet, is just plain creepy and sinister. And then the central image of the ad, a siliconed Ariel with boobs busting out of her dress, Janice Dickinson-esque lips, hiked-up eyebrows and super chiseled cheekbones, with her bright, shiny new legs behind her. It’s disturbing.
Not only does it infantilize women to advertise to them using a cartoon character for children, but this is also a highly dangerous message for young girls: the implication that getting plastic surgery is a “fairy tale come true.” There’s so, so much wrong with that, especially considering that Disney princess characters are already examples of pretty impossible beauty standards and feminine ideals (see also: the princessification of America’s little girls.) This ad takes the Little Mermaid story way, way too far: not only does Ariel have to fundamentally change herself (by acquiring legs) to get a man, but she also changes the rest of her appearance, just to be that much more perfect and attractive. I really resent what this ad is selling: plastic surgery as a dream, as an accomplishment, as something to wish for and aspire to.
Plastic surgery is not a fairy tale: it’s a expensive, invasive, often-dangerous procedure that people commonly undergo for absolutely no medical reason. I’m not saying that plastic surgery is wrong, but this type of advertising IS wrong.Â I guessÂ Clinica DempereÂ is trying to be cute and creative, but the use of a Disney character in an ad for cosmetic surgery isn’t cute: it’s tacky, sad, and borderline unethical.
Photo: The Huffington Post