Lashing Out

From the beginning of time women have been doing things to improve, enhance, augment or completely alter their appearance. I for one regularly highlight my dishwater-blonde hair, whiten my teeth and have been known to frequent tanning salons in the warmer months to maintain that “healthy glow” (and also to keep from blinding the neighbors at the sight of my ghostly-white thighs). 

Add to that a few things that I used to do that I no longer do… such as: maintain perfectly-polished, lengthy, acrylic, french-manicured nails, receive regular pedicures and attend appointments for massage therapy and laser hair removal. Why (you might ask) did I stop doing those things? Well, I wish I could say that I saw the light and learned to love myself for the beautiful, natural way God made me. But I would be lying. I stopped because either I or my bank account grew weary of keeping up with all of those costly and time-consuming procedures.

So I’ve learned to simplify my needs/expectations of myself and work with what I’ve got by seeing what I can find in the cosmetics department. This can be a worthy endeavor if you’re careful not to go overboard, buying every beauty product on the market just because tv/radio/magazines tell you that you should. Some products seem to do what they claim while others just plain disappoint. Usually I’m pretty good about not falling for every marketing ploy by which I am bombarded. 

However, there is one particular product that is my cosmetic kryptonite. I fall prey to the advertising schemes for this item with stunning regularity. The article to which I am referring is mascara. For some reason I am a sucker for long, thick black lashes that sweep so high as to reach one’s own eyebrows.

Beauty barons like Cover Girl, Loreal, Maybelline and Rimmel London are amazingly adept at getting me to believe in their product. I really do think that I can achieve thicker, fuller, longer lashes just by shelling out $10.99 and brushing their magic, inky-black potion on the lashes that I’ve got.

Problem solved.

But enter a new wave of cosmetic trends and treatments now available to appeal to our insatiable lash lust. I’m talking about eyelash extensions and products to help you grow your own “better” lashes. Salons are popping up all over the place in order to meet the demand and you can now ask your family physician for a prescription for medication that will cure you of your unfortunate affliction.

Yes, marketing departments for lash-extension salons, services and/or products have given the desire for “better” lashes an actual name: “Insufficient Lashes” … And no, I’m not kidding. Retailers and manufacturers want us to believe that our own desire for prettier, more appealing lashes is a now a legitimate health problem!

Even a long, lush lash-lover like me isn’t falling for this one. Perhaps a few years ago I might have bought into it… to the tune of $90 per visit! But the newer, simpler me knows that here is where I must draw the line. Although tempting, my natural lashes lathered with a little of that lengthening livener a.k.a. old-fashioned mascara will do just fine.

Super Bowl Approved

Hello, my name is Joanna and I am a sucker for marketing ploys. As difficult as it is to do, they say the first step is admitting that you have a problem. So there you go. Yesterday morning while watching the news, I saw a commercial for Tostitos or some kind of chippy/dippy advertisement and I turned to Lee and exclaimed (with quite a lot of enthusiasm) that we needed to get some quote: “Super Bowl snacks!”

We weren’t throwing or attending any parties, but just like the pressure I feel to make (or rather, eat) cut-out cookies at Christmas and pumpkin pie at Thanksgiving and slam dozens of bite-size snickers at Halloween — I felt the overwhelming urge to go out and purchase tortilla chips and guacamole exactly like I’d just seen on the television. See, I told you… total sucker.

And I should see this stuff coming… I should be like teflon when it comes to marketing trickery… I AM IN MARKETING. I UNDERSTAND the game. I PLAY the game. I manipulate people all the time… just like the Tostitos people were presently manipulating me. And yet I still fall prey to the sneaky schemes of retail giants and manufacturers everywhere. 

After I got done throwing my super fit and quieted down, Lee looked at me and said: “OK, let’s go to the store and get some snacks… But do they have to be ‘Super Bowl’ snacks? Like, ‘Super Bowl-Approved‘ snacks as opposed to just plain old regular snacks?”

I shot him a look of both disgust and amusement at his overt sarcasm. Disgusted at his mockery but amused by how right he actually was. After all, I didn’t want just any snack. I wanted the stuff that the folks at Frito-Lay (makers of Tostitos) and Pepsi and Budweiser and Kraft and Keebler WANTED me to want! I wanted Super Bowl-Approved snacks! It had worked. They had gotten into my head. They successfully bore a hole in my brain and pulled my strings. Those evil, capitalist, genius bastards.

And you know what? When we arrived at the superstore for our supersnacks—passing through the glass doors that magically parted upon our arrival and swallowed us up as they whooshed loudly, closing behind us—we were indeed greeted by a larger-than-life display of what else but towers of two-liters and avocados and Tostitos chips of every shape, size, color, flavor and variety there ever was. 

There would be no plain old regular snacks for this gal. I was going all-out. No matter what the remainder of my Sunday looked like, one thing was for sure… as far as the marketing machines at Frito-Lay and Pepsi and Budweiser and Kraft and Keebler were concerned… my diet was going to be Super Bowl-Approved.