Peptides, proteins and peeling active ingredients: exploring 'scientific' language in English and French cosmetics advertising

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Abstract

Cosmetics brands are increasingly employing a ‘scientific’ or, perhaps more accurately, a pseudo-scientific discourse in their advertisements to help authenticate a particular product in the global beauty marketplace. These advertisements often create and reinforce a connection between beauty and science. This article explores this current phenomenon through critical linguistic analysis of a corpus of Metropolitan French and British English beauty advertisements from May to September 2011. The article also draws on broader issues relating to the use of pseudo-scientific discourse in cosmetics advertising, including questions of (mis)representation of science, consumer response, gender, and advertising regulation in both French and English contexts.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)183-210
Number of pages28
JournalÉtudes de Stylistique Anglaise
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 2014

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