Sunday, November 22, 2009

From desi, an important piece for us to know about.

Bad-Ad Project : Speaking volumes with your eyelashes

A couple of months ago I saw this ad which featured Brooke Shields touting a product, Latisse, which promised, thicker, fuller eyelashes in about 12-16 weeks. It was bizarre.
When I first saw this advertisement I couldn’t believe that they were serious. A product which treats the condition of not having thick enough lashes, inadequate lashes as the ad. puts it ! Is that even a condition ? Not enough lashes to bat around ? Use Latisse.
Oh, yes, now that you’ve tweezed your eyebrows, made up your face, removed all traces of bodily hair, worried yourself to death about the dreaded VPL, and in general made yourself presentable as per societal expectations, you also now need to consider whether your eyelashes are inadequate. And do something about them. Because God forbid, what if you were to bat your lashes at a man, and OMG, they weren’t enough, or thick enough, or full enough or dark enough to get his attention ?
Beauty companies nowadays flood us with ads. designed to think women need improvement, i.e.; your natural self is just not good enough. Face too dark ? Lighten it ! That worry solved, now let’s get down to matching up body color to face color, because if they don’t all hell would break loose. If it isn’t your “dark” skin, your hair needs help. Hair frizzy, straight, curly, the wrong color ? No worries we have a product for that ! If the head on your hair is fine, have you ever thought that the natural hair growing on your legs and arms can actually hold you back from achieving your full potential ? Wax, shave, depilate, depilate, depilate !
Once that is done, wear makeup artfully so that noone can tell you’re wearing any. To look taller the fashion industry provides really tall heels, the wearing of which will probably result in some sort of a foot injury after a while, but hey, at least you’ll look good sitting down.
Lashes are important because they prevent stuff from getting into your eyes, so most of us have some of them. I have short, not so thick lashes, but I figure they are sufficient for what they do. New drugs and the research which goes into them is important because they are solving important medical issues, sometimes essential life-saving ones. But I’m put off by the pop-a-pill approach to most problems. Allergies – take a pill a day. Foot fungus – take another pill a day. Inadequate lashes (I feel ludicrous even saying it) ? Apply Latisse once a day. And here’s the wonderful thing about these products – you stop taking them, EVERY SINGLE DAY OF YOUR LIFE, and the problem reappears. Allergies come back, foot fungus reappears, lashes go back to normal growth patterns.
Latisse costs $120 per month, about $4 a day. And it has contra-indications – it might cause a change in skin color, and change in iris pigmentation. Also it could grow hair on ANY skin it comes in contact with. It might also cause itchy/red eyes.
Latisse is supposed to treat “Hypotrichosis” which wikipedia describes as a condition of abnormal hair growth. Basically sparse hair, which could result from a medical condition or chemotherapy. And in those cases I think it’d be a good thing. But it is being marketed at the general public, at women like you and me. Otherwise healthy women, who suffer from “inadequate” lashes. Oh, poor us !
And at times like this, when I think about the pressure already on women to adhere to impossible standards of beauty, that I think that people who think up stuff like this and market it must be demented. Not only for pushing potentially harmful, unnecessary stuff on women who might buy it because it helps them feel beautiful (and hence they say better), but also for introducing this facet of “beauty” into a realm where my daughter (and other young women like her) in a few years might not be able to ignore it, and might wonder if not only her body, her legs, her waist measures up, but even whether her lashes are thick enough ?
And even though it’s been a while since I first saw Latisse being advertised, I’ve been meaning to write about it. And looking around the Net, found a few other women who were fuming about this, but an article on Salon said it best :
How much do you have to hate your body to shell out $150 a month for a mysterious product that might ruin your eyes?
Indeed !