Monday, January 31, 2011

Rant - The Most Absurd Television Commercial

Some TV commercials make me cringe.

For example, ads for tampons, pantiliners and, of course, feminine deodorant are paraded out at prime time just to remind us we're not All That.

Yesterday, I mentioned this post to Baby Sis and she brought up the commercial where a woman says, 'I found out the hard way that my feminine spray wasn't working.'  

Together, we explored the ideas that might lead to this awareness, but I will spare you the details of our raucous phone conversation.

My dad reads this blog.

Currently, the most WTF? commercial, in my opinion, is for Latisse, the eyelash-growing solution.  You know, the one with Brooke Shields batting her lashes on the dance floor.

Throughout the commercial, a silky voice tells us the solution could not only change the color of our eyes, but permanently darken the surrounding skin.  


Latisse is designed to address 'inadequate or not enough' lashes.

Aside from no lashes at all, what exactly qualifies as 'inadequate' on the eyelash front?  And, like the feminine deodorant failure, how, exactly, does one come to this traumatic awareness?

'I would have landed that job if my eyelashes were fuller.'

'No wonder the relationship didn't work out; my lashes are obviously inadequate.'

'These suicidal thoughts would subside if I just had enough eyelashes.'

Granted, I'm not what you'd call a beauty buff, and I don't work with women who spend time talking about the latest in beauty products.  

But, if you think about it, keeping women focused on beauty is a brilliant distraction.

Challenging the status quo is certainly more difficult when we're searching for the products that will hide our many flaws and make us visually acceptable. 

No need to worry our pretty little heads over what's happening in the world. 

Everything will be fine once our eyelashes are adequate.

image from


  1. Haha! My head is with you on this, but my heart is susceptible to promises of fuller lashes...for not only are my eyeballs the wrong side of standard size for contact lense wear (aka small! - and I pay a premium for this handicap), but I also suffer from sparse and directionally wayward eyelashes. One lash on each eye actually has a 90 degree kink in it half way down and is pointing horizontally and outwards. So I buy MaxFactor False Lash Effect mascara, but have so far managed to resist falsies. Falsies of any kind indeed, though other body parts could also be contenders for enhancement.

  2. Josephine, I do believe you're absolutely right. If we're so preoccupied about...our imperfect bodies, our anorexic eyelashes, our less than perfect if very human selves...then surely we won't bother dealing with all the other issues women should be discussing, rather than the length of our eyelashes?

    So goes the mindset behind commercials such as this one, I surmise!

    You are a woman and therefore flawed by default! (NOT!) long as we are compelled by advertising/fashion/cultural norms to adhere to a standard we did not define for ourselves, we'll never get anywhere we want to go.

    Wimpy lashes? There are lots of good mascaras - and even lash extensions. Anything that darkens the skin and threatens to change the color of my eyes makes my skin crawl in horror.

    I am not perfect. I will never be perfect, not even with Botox, Yogalates, a permanent diet, an enviable wardrobe and monstrous, Latisse-enhanced lashes. But I am me. You are you! All of us beautiful in different ways, times and situations - no matter what the Mad Men of the world say to prey on our insecurities!

    OK, I promise, I'll crawl off the feminist soapbox now...;-)

  3. Let me throw another perspective into the mix...

    A few years ago I noticed my hair was really thinning. The Doctors tested everything, couldn't find anything and suggested stress issues. So I cut my hair shorter to disguise the thin areas. Then the eyebrows whittled away and I had to learn to use an eyebrow pencil to fill in the gaps. Next was the disappearing eyelashes! Is nothing sacred?! My eye doctor recommended Latisse and it worked! I was SO excited to finally win one of the battles.
    I agree that focusing TOO much on your appearance is a bad thing and the beauty money-making industry is certainly warped in the messages it sends to women and men.
    Here's to balance and moderation!

  4. Hello, Vanessa! I can understand your urge to tame the wayward lashes - glad you found a mascara that works for you. I'm with you in the 'falsies' department. When men begin lining up at the plastic surgeon's office to get physically enhanced - for themselves, of course - we can revisit the issue from a different perspective.

    Thanks for your comment!

  5. tarleisio, nice reply rant! What amazes me is that we have actually regressed in the 'make me beautiful at any cost' department. Countering the popular opinions of how women should look was central to feminism in the 60's and 70's.

    Now, we have come full circle where implants, botox and bad face lifts are absolutely mainstream and seen as necessary to maintain our youth.

    Why don't men need to maintain their youth?

    When did we slide so far backwards?

    And why aren't women protesting, instead of defending, this insanity?

  6. Cymbaline, thank you for adding this perspective. I would think Latisse is made for exactly this purpose. It must have been very disheartening to begin losing your hair!

    Bravo to you for seeking a solution to an actual condition. This is far different than pondering the fate of your typical eyelashes and risking substantial side effects to do so.

    Thanks again for your comment.

  7. I have seen this as well and I think that it is great that it works for someone who needs it. But I do agree, many of these commercials for the most part do tend to make me feel inadequate in some way (or that I should have a 'happy monthly visit', lol. By the way I love this blog :)

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