Friday, October 28, 2011

You're gray WHERE?!?!?!

Today, as I was eating my scrumptious pumpkin pancake for breakfast,  I happened to flip open the pages of a magazine, and I kid you not the following question practically leaped off the page at me. Are you ready for this?

" Is it safe to color my graying pubic hair?"

I was so repelled, and yet much like the urge we sometimes get to peek at a car wreck on the highway, even though you know it might make you upset, you do it anyway. So I just had to read the answer. Apparently it is "safe" and there is a product called "Betty" that does the trick. Who knew?

Yikes.....are you kidding me?  (now this is the part where my attempts to be mindful might be stretched a tad!") Can it be that a woman needs to feel something is amiss in the lower 40 when the hair is graying?  Who is to blame for making someone even think to question this fact of life,  or more importantly, what possesses a company to produce a product that apparently does the job so well? Obviously there is a market for just such a product. Please forgive me as I do not mean to make anyone feel bad if you are reading this right now and using it. Let's just hope you are doing it for you and not to make someone think you are anything less then perfect as is! Could this be yet another attempt by a company to make us feel inadequate or less womanly since we are aging or growing old? Do you realize that most of the way a woman feels about her body, or a man for that matter, is due to images and stories that the media produces in order to make us all feel "less then" what we are at any given point in time?

Case in point: I was listening to XM radio several months a go, to a favorite talk show of mine that is no longer on air due to the host having a new gig in Chicago working for the big "O." I loved this show as it made me laugh out loud quite often at the hosts utter lack of artifice or attempts to be anything less then authentic (an aspect of people I find to be the most appealing). I would be in my car, visible to all around me yucking it up like some crazed loon. (My apologies to loons lovers everywhere!) Anywhoo.....there was a commercial that played repeatedly on this show that started out something like this:

"Are you tired of being embarrassed by your ugly brown age spots? If so blah blah blah.......

I would hear this commercial so often and every time it never failed to make me angry. Why? Not because I have age spots, which I am most proud to say I have earned every single one of them, but because this commercial was attempting to make me feel less then adequate for having a very naturally occurring pigmentation discoloration that occurs as we all age. And yes, they are related to all that luscious sun bathing I did in my youth, on the lounge chair in my back yard,  with Sun In (remember that one?) slathered on my hair and Coppertone Oil on my body as I prayed for the zit that popped out on my chin to recede before the days end!

I would be less then honest if I did not admit that initially, when I first heard the commercial I found myself starting to think, hmmmm maybe I should cover them up, maybe it is ugly, maybe I am less womanly as a result and then reality hit me! Wait just a minute, this is exactly what the advertisers are hoping! They paid someone a lot of money to use highly effective wording in order to make me feel exactly what they need me to feel so  perhaps I give in and try it for 30 days, risk free of course.

Advertising has gotten far more devious in their attempts to do this over the years using psychological trigger words to elicit a certain response and also by utilizing music and sound tracks that cause us to have auditory reactions that make us "feel" the way they want us to feel. So in a nut shell, we are being masterfully manipulated to think, feel and sense what ever they need us to think, feel or sense and buy the product! Sounds crazy, huh? But true! So we know all this and yet we still allow ourselves to be manipulated.

I am just as guilty with my arrays of creams, lotions, shampoos, conditioners, make up, vitamins, food products, clothing, etc that all in some way came to me a result of some very clever marketing designed to make me purchase it. I know it, and you know it and we all do it! No matter how green you are, healthy you are or how untouched you think you are by still are! OK, maybe if you are nun or a monk, I will let you slide on this one, although I have seen some pretty spiffy watch on monk's wrist recently! Gift perhaps? Things that make you go hmmmmmmm?

So, keep it "real" people and do what you must to make yourself feel good every day. All I ask is that you catch yourself now and again as you buy a product and say "am I doing this for me, or because some advertiser found a way to tap into my insecurities about who I  should be?" You might be very surprised what your answers are!

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