Acne

Our society relies heavily on medication to eliminate any physiological and mental abnormalities. Medicalization allows us to use medication to control body processes and our behavior. Medicalization gives individuals explanations for their behaviors and a biomedical solution to their problems. Biomedicalization provides new technologies that correct abnormalities and features of the body. Medicalization and biomedicalization reveals how much emphasis our society place on being normal. Normal is defined by our cultural beliefs and social norms. In lecture 2, a prosthetic arm was an example of biomedicalization. Normal individuals are more likely to succeed and be accepted by our society.

I chose to analyze an advertisement for clearsil, which is medication used to treat acne. The main setting was school, which indicates that the advertisement is targeting teenagers. The advertisement utilized a protagonist and antagonist like the advertisements of the different birth controls in the menstruation video.The commercial began with a teenager complaining about acne to his friend at school. Then, his friend presented clearsil as a fast solution to his acne problem. The teenager suffering from acne questioned how fast clearsil eliminates acne, which caused his friend to compare the speed of clearsil to an airplane and truck. The advertisement used a sound that depicted a fast moving object. At the end of the commercial, the teenager’s acne was gone and he was socializing with friends at school, which shows how our society view acne as an inconvenience and affecting our social life. Also, a woman informs the audience that clearsil sends the maximum amount of medicine deep into your pores and guarantees visible clearance of skin in as little as 12 hours indicating that our society believe that more medicine solve problems faster. The woman referred to clearsil as the science of clearer skin depicting how much our society trust science.

This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. Molly DeMarr says:

    I was intrigued by your title because at first most people probably wouldn’t characterize acne as an illness. But then I am reminded when I think of all of the drugs that are available over the counter and prescribed by doctors. Our society is surrounded by images of so called “perfection.” Images that we are supposed to want to look like. People who are thin, or buff, with great hair and pretty eyes, nice smiles and clear complexions. Acne and its damage can range from very little to incredibly severe. The damage is not only physically but mentally as well. When our culture surrounds us with these “perfect” people, it is easy for one to be self conscious of their own image. As for the economy, once our society began focusing more on this so called illness, health and beauty companies most likely saw a rise in their industry as they made specialized products focused towards those with acne such as products now that are oil free, etc. The drug industry also benefits as they began to release prescribed medications for acne such as Accutane. As our society’s culture shaped and shifted towards this blemish-free image, our economy sought out the gains from it.

  2. Dylan Bieber says:

    This commercial preys on the insecurities of teens and adolescents. The youths in our society have a compulsive desire to fit in. It is well known that children are brutally honest. If you look different from “normal” people, such as having moderate to severe acne for example, they will let you know just how different you are. According to a study published in the Postgraduate Medical Journal, severe cases of acne can lead to lack of confidence, social withdrawal, feelings of insecurity and inferiority, limited employment opportunities, and functional and interpersonal difficulties at work. In our culture, beauty is key. Severe acne, when left untreated, can lead to somewhat extensive scarring. With this being the case, it is only natural that a patient would rather medicate to combat their acne than leave it untreated and face the possible consequences.

    From an economic standpoint, it is only natural that pharmaceutical companies would want to develop acne medications. It is estimated that about 85 percent of teens will experience acne in one form or another. This means that there are literally millions of kids, who are likely all equally insecure about their condition that would be willing to use medications to treat their skin condition.

    Ayer, J. and N. Burrows. “Acne: More Than Skin Deep.” Postgraduate Medical Journal. 82 (2006): 500-506.

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