I don't understand it. Well no, that isn't true. I do understand it and what it's for, but I don't understand the veritable smorgasbord of choice for what is essentially a product that makes eyelashes appear longer. Now reader, do me a quick favour while you read this and open a new window in your browser of choice and just enter the word "mascara" and cast your eyes over the results. I'm going to do it now too, so we can play this game together.
So, Google is my friend (other search engines are available, but no one uses them). The search list comes up and there are at seven different brands of mascara on the first page at least. Estee Lauder, Maybelline, Rimmel, Max Factor, Mac Cosmetics and Clinique to name a few. Now I understand that there are a plethora of make up brands and that isn't my beef. My beef is that each brand offer many of types. Take Maybelline for example. They offer fifteen different mascaras. Volum' Express Collosal Cat (don't get me started on the grammar), One By One, The Falsies (waterproof and normal), Turbo Boost, Great Lash, Define a Lash, Lash Stilletto and just plain Collosal. No cats in that one for some reason. Also surely, why make a mascara called The Falsies when you can just go out and get false eyelashes? How can you turbo boost your eyes? Why can't they just do one that isn't waterproof and one that is?
I'm bombarded by adverts on the TV about mascara. I'm starting to feel that I might need to get some myself. Before you ask, I'm not considering a career as a drag artist. They wear falsies anyway. For a period just before christmas I started to believe that the only way to make my wife happy was to buy her mascara. It was the only way apparently to make her look sexy and smouldering. The only way. To be honest she looks great ninety nine percent of the time, some mornings are a bit touch and go mind you, but overall, awesome.
Now, this brings me closer to my point (there is one, hold on to your hats). People are watching on average a fifth more adverts on TV a day now than they were five years ago. In numbers, it's an average of 47 ads a day. 47! and that is only on the telly. A market research company called Thinkbox ran some numbers and there we are, the average person my age is watching nearly fifty ads a day. Even when I fast forward on Sky+ I can still see them at 30 times the speed. It's like they are being injected into my head. 93 percent of the country has access to digital tv, so therefore the amount of commercial tv available is increased. There are ads on your mobile device, ads on walls, ads in papers, magazines and on buses and trains. They are everywhere. The moment you turn your head and look at something different, companies are vying for your attention. Telling you what you need to have next in this never endingly disposable world.
Evidence that advertising regarding womens body image has got out of hand with photoshopping is well known. I'm starting to notice that male body image is getting crazy too. Even though I don't like it, I know that it has affected me. You can see from the other posts on this blog about me trying to reclaim my slim 25 year old self. I want Brad Pitt's body from Troy. He looked like he could crack walnuts on his chest! I know I shouldn't need to feel that way, but I do. In the words of Roxy Music "I'm in with the In Crowd, I go where the In Crowd go". Advertisers prey on your sense of being left out. "Look! Have / wear / consume our flugelbinder* and you can be like us! Happy! Without care! Safe in the knowledge that we have said flugelbinder* and other, sad people don't! Be like us! We're awesome. Don't you want to be awesome?"
I'll stop now. But reader, I ask you this: next time you are in a daydream thinking about some product or other and how much you want it, because it has been presented to you in such a way that you can't imagine your life without it. Stop. Then force yourself to think what do you really, really need? Do you really need that flugelbinder*? Really?
I didn't think so.
*10 Points to those of you that know what a flugelbinder is.