Have you ever really watched a commercial? I mean…really focused on what you’re seeing? Last night I was seated on my boyfriend’s incredibly comfy couch. It’s so comfortable…it’s past ridiculous and moved in to full-blown ludicrous. This couch is actually one of the reasons I decided I liked him in the first place. In the fledgling stages of our relationship, when I would visit his apartment, I would think “now here’s a guy with a knack for relaxing. I’m intrigued. I must know more.” True story. He’s very proud of this couch, we’ve actually sat together on other couches and he’s looked at me and said: “It’s comfortable, but it ain’t like my couch. Right, baby?” I can’t help but agree with him. This sitting apparatus should be in the Furniture Hall of Fame, if there were such a thing. I bet if there was; it’d be located in Ohio…because Ohio is where all Hall of Fames of great importance are built. Ft. Lauderdale is home to the Swimming Hall of Fame. I bet you didn’t know that and I bet you don’t care. Ohio got the halls dedicated to Football and Rock and Roll, lucky bastards.
Anywho, back to the commercial thing…my boyfriend and his roommate were working on developing some phone app thing. It’s something they do a lot; I don’t understand it, I just know it’s boring. When they are involved in nerd-centered activities, I always put something incredibly stupid on TV. Why do I do this? I don’t know, I guess I figure it will level out the intelligence floating around the room…and save me from learning something. I usually watch a reality show about weddings or prisons, you’d be surprised at how many glaring similarities there are in these kinds of programming. Last night, I couldn’t find any vapid entertainment about incarceration. I tried to watch something about Polar Bears, but had to turn it off when they started showing footage of the bear eating a baby walrus. I don’t need to see that. I know it’s part of the circle of life. Everything has to eat. But, Polar Bears don’t sit around watching me grocery shop, so I’m not going to watch them pick out what’s for dinner, especially if it’s cute and makes horrific squeaking noises when it’s being eaten.
I put on the Kardashian’s, they were just what I needed. It’s amazing how stupid they are, except the big one…she’s cool. Even if she is kinda bitchy, she’s in your face about it. There’s nothing passive/aggressive about her, I respect that. I might even voluntarily watch her eat a baby walrus. So, while the big-assed, make-up addicted, morons proved how useless they are; I noticed there were an abundance of hair product commercials flashing across the screen. There’s a definite theme going on in them, lots of grown women sitting on swings, shiny long hair flapping in the breeze. There’s also lots of “group spinning” in fields. I have a small child, I swing and spin on a regular basis, not because I want to…but it comes with the territory. There is a swing and an open field behind my house, as a matter of fact. I can swing and spin any time I want. I may just be bragging here, but stick with me. When I am involved in these activities, I don’t worry about what my hair looks like. I’m with my son, trying to entertain him…because after you reach an age over seven there is nothing fun about swinging or spinning. My hair is pulled back, because I don’t want run the risk of inhaling it and I’m trying to camouflage the peanut butter or finger paint that may or may not be hiding in my locks. I’m not with a group of my girlfriend’s jumping around a field like a moron; when we get together we drink and tell inappropriate stories. Film that, assholes.
While I find these commercials to be utterly ridiculous, they are the standard of how advertisers display the products. This must be the best way to show hair in all its flowing, shiny glory. I normally tune this swill out. I doesn’t matter how much twirling they do, unless it’s on sale, they can spin until they puke…I won’t be buying it. Then, a hair color commercial came on…the one with Andie MacDowell in it. I expected there to more swinging and twirling, which there was. But, there was something different about this one. It was so strange that I actually stopped watching the show and waited, with my ass glued to the couch, to see it again. L’Oreal must pay a lot of cheddar for all the advertising they do on the E! Channel, because I didn’t have to wait long to verify what I had just seen.
The commercial starts off with Andie, lounging fully clothed in a bathtub filled with rose petals. After I get my hair colored I always lay around in tub with flowers in it. It’s actually one of the instructions on the box. It says test for allergies, find a well ventilated area, and then directs the user to put on their nicest outfit and locate an unoccupied washbasin for horizontal marinating in the petals of their choice. They recommend pink roses, but I find tulips to be more invigorating. It helps tame the follicles.
The camera then focuses on Andie seated on a swing. Predictable. Close-ups of face and hair follow shortly thereafter, while she says something about hair color solution in a slow, sultry voice. This is just stupid. There is nothing sexy about hair color solution. Have you ever smelled this shit? If you haven’t, I’m going to need you to reach under your kitchen sink and grab something with ammonia in it. If you don’t have anything with ammonia in it, find someone who owns a cat and ask for a tour of his or her dirty litter box. I’ll wait. Ready? Ok, open the container near your face or place your nose as close to the shit box as possible. Now, inhale deeply through your nostrils and then shove a lit candle up your nose, for added effect. Yeah, that charming aroma screams sexy. I don’t care if they add fruit extracts and virgin unicorn piss; it still smells like a chemical burn waiting to happen.
The scene quickly switches to her PLAYING FOOSBALL with a dude dressed like a mime…really? Foosball? What the fuck does foosball have to do with hair? Andie must be a much better actress than she gets credit for, because she doesn’t seem to be the least bit puzzled by what she’s being asked to do. If I was in this commercial, there would be footage of me beating the director over the head with the foosball table and then being lead off the set in handcuffs, with my shiny hair glimmering behind me. Who comes up with this crap? Did someone really say “we need a new way to make her look glamorous and sexy. I know…get me a foosball table!”? While they were at it, they should have thrown in a black guy playing the bagpipes. That’s something you never see in hair commercials or anywhere else, for that matter…because it doesn’t fucking exist. And it also has nothing to do with hair.
I don’t mind that advertising companies think they need to depict women involved in childlike activities to get me to buy their crap. It makes my life easier, because men also see these scenes. Subconsciously, I think it makes them think of women as stupid, fragile woodland creatures, which makes them easier to take advantage of. Now, it you need me I’ll be in the backyard…swinging and spinning…only I’ll be doing it with a cold glass of Scotch and a box of Marlboro Lights.