Monday, September 28, 2009

Adequately Lashed

(Pre-Script: This post will open up to you like a secret crypt when read as the song, "Big Yellow Taxi," #28 on the playlist, plays in the background. Go down to the playlist, click on that song, then come back and resume reading. I'll wait...) (...still waiting...)

Be wary when you see a commercial that suggests that something about you may be inadequate, but when the term "inadequate" is not actually defined.
Let's define the term "Inadequate Eyelashes," which appeared in a recent commercial for a product that supposedly causes your eyelashes to grow longer than they already are.
An inadequate eyelash would be one that does not keep dirt and dust particles out of a person's eyes. An eyelash that does what it is meant to do, i.e., keep dirt and dust particles out of a person's eyes, is adequate. There is nothing wrong with it. But when a commercial starts off by saying "If you have inadequate eyelashes," it sends a deliberate message:

"You are inadequate."

and yes, that message was deliberate. Insecure people buy more things.

the word "Inadequate" makes a woman feel that there is no choice in the matter...


(wait for it, this is a very big "BUT.")

In this particular commercial, the term "Inadequate Eyelashes" is never defined. They just say "IF you have inadequate eyelashes," the lack of definition makes a woman wonder if she has this malady, makes her assume that yes, she most likely does, and she just never realized it before. Then she feels she needs the product, there is no choice in the matter, she had better sign up today. She becomes one of the cattle who must silently not ask questions, but must stand in line and take a number and buy the product, just buy it already.

-Someone wants to stop me here to tell me that my logic is becoming circular.

I already know. It's a good point though, and was worth repeating.

"Just moo and don't ask questions. You do not need to ask. Just assume the worst about yourself."-says the beauty industry, which is controlled by...

"But Michelle,"
(interrupts my Gentle Imaginary Reader),
"Who do you mean by 'we?'"
Great question, Dear Imaginary Reader.
"We" is the little person (or people) behind the curtain who pulls (or pull) strings and makes (or make) a lot of noise...

Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain.
I would have no problem with a commercial for the same product that simply said:

"Use our product if you want longer eyelashes."

This statement does not assume that anything is inherently wrong with the woman, and it gives her a choice. What if a woman does not want longer eyelashes?

But see, if we lose all of our choices, if we all look the same, we cease to be individuals, we start to seem like stereotypical robots. If we start to believe this about ourselves, start to dress for it, talk and act like it, too, we will begin to restrain our natural impulses and question and quench our own original thoughts and ideas, especially if they differ from what we see happening in the world around us. This is very convenient for certain types of governmental systems, systems which no one says they want, yet everyone secretly wants. They want it because they want to sleep walk through life and not have to think or be responsible for personal choices. When personal choices are taken away, people have no one to blame but everyone else.
The buck stops at Big Brother's door, the same Big Brother who vowed to protect and nurture you.
But you see, I am getting way ahead of myself and talking goofy talk now.
Silly me, I'm just a girl...a girl who's eyelashes may or may not be adequate...what do I know? .


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