While I was eating my cereal the other morning I was looking for something to read. The only thing I could find was a sales brochure that had came in the mail from a local beauty supply store. Since I was still half asleep I thought I would look through it and see what kinds of products women were buying. What I found was a surprising blend—at least to me—of mixed messages. We all know how the media and Madison Avenue have promulgated anorexic models and unrealistic, Photoshopped images of the female body–much to the detriment of the self-image of young girls and women in our culture. However, I was surprised at the names of various products and the subliminal messages that were being perpetrated upon females.
Many of the makeup products used food and/or flavors as a selling point. Not sure what food and beauty products have to do with each other, but I suspect that by constantly having dieting being shoved down their throats in order to reach the unrealistic body image perpetuated to them, many women are darn hungry. Some of the makeup products were called vanilla sugar, passion berry vanilla, mandarin mint, pomegranate lime, strawberries and champagne, dragonfruit frappe, apple envy, coconut lime cooler, banana cream dream, nail candy, and pumpkin latte.
Sorry, I’m back–I had to go grab a snack.
Some of the names of makeup and beauty products seemed demeaning to females. Here are just a few product names: Piggy Polish (a lovely image for a young girl suffering the uncertainty of adolescence), Bed Head hairspray (a look all women strive for), and something known as ‘bare minerals,’ which as near as I can tell is essentially dirt that you rub on your face in order to fill in and cover imperfections.
There’s Urban Decay makeup (for girls who want to come from ghettos I guess), Too Faced lipstick (strictly for mean girls), and Laura Geller has something called Spackle, which is what big sweaty guys use to repair cracks in the wall. There’s something called “fatgirlslim” and “fatgirlsleep.” I’m not sure what they do or why any woman would want to be referred to as Fat Girl, but perhaps it’s a cultural thing. [Tweet “…And of course there’s Porn Star lipstick (every dad’s dream for his daughter).”]
These examples were just in one small mailer. I recognize that I am just a middle-aged guy on the backside of coolness, completely out of touch with cultural trendiness, but it seems a bit derogatory to young women to aspire to be associated with these kinds of images.
Ladies-what do you think? Be truthful—do you buy these kinds of products? What are the strangest named beauty products you’ve ever bought? How do you think these not-so-subliminal messages affect a woman’s psyche?