14th Mar 2004 The advertisment said 'Don't be afraid to express yourself!'. Then didn't. View large

Dear Sir,

I was sitting flipping through a magazine, as one does, and found myself looking at the L'Oréal advertisement that shows a number of pictures of some lady and says:

'Don't be afraid to express yourself!'

Good advice that, I fully agree.

But it dawned on me that in the fifteen photos present on the page there were just five expressions: flirting, delight, cheekiness, fascination and attention. All from a fairly limited expressive palette, you must agree.

So...what am I to make of a woman who does not express compassion, empathy, amusement, reflection, puzzlement, pity, tenderness and hope.

And what of the darker ones - annoyance, anger, disgust, misery, distress, sorrow, confusion, indifference and spite?

And let's not forget a few of the interesting ones, such lust, desire and seduction.

So, I am getting mixed messages here. The slogan states a bold six word declaration of expressive independence but the pictures, by popular reckoning equivalent to fifteen thousand words, are saying something quite different.

What is the advertisement telling me?

Is that what you want?

Yours expressively,

J Cosmo Newbery.