Letters to the Editor

Cosmetic advertisement is ‘inappropriate’

I grew up on Mercer Island back in the ’60s and ’70s. Years later and after becoming a parent, I moved back to the Island, where I could be assured that my daughter would receive a good education. It’s nice to be back living on the Island as an adult and getting involved in this small-town community.

I recently subscribed to the local Mercer Island Reporter and was very excited to receive my first copy in the mail (the Sept. 8, 2010 issue). On page 11, my eye was drawn down to the bottom right corner, where there was an ad with “Supply List,” “2 x 2 = 4,” a little smiley face and “Back to School,” all as if written in chalk on a blackboard, plus a picture of a textbook with an apple sitting on top. Thinking it was a local merchant selling school supplies for kids, I took a closer look, and was really shocked to find that the so-called “Supply List” was of different facial skin treatments like Botox and other cosmetic procedures, with offers like “Buy 2, get one FREE!”

I found it extremely inappropriate that this ad looked as if it was designed with school-aged children in mind, associating “Back to School” with cosmetic surgery. As long as I can remember, girls and young women have always struggled to build and maintain good self-esteem and a positive self-image while being bombarded with advertisements implying that if you don’t look thin, young and beautiful, and have perfect skin like the models in magazines and on TV, then you’re not good enough and do not measure up.

As responsible adults, parents and leaders of our community, we have to work very hard to counteract these negative ideals by role-modeling and teaching our kids that it’s what’s on the inside that really counts. Running this particular ad in the Reporter seems incredibly inappropriate and makes me sad because the need to counter-attack the negative messaging seems to be increasing, not decreasing. I, for one, find it unacceptable that the Reporter allows advertisements that perpetuate any type of negative influence on our kids.

Stacy Dimmich

Editor’s note: This advertisement appears on page 11 of the Sept. 8 issue.

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