Thursday, December 11, 2008

Dear Santa

I have just seen an advert on TV for an anti-wrinkle cream (the one in the picture), which they described as "the perfect Christmas gift".

So let me make a quick announcement: If you buy me anti-wrinkle cream for Christmas I will be offended.

Just as if you had bought me a book called "Reiki For Controlling Bad Breath" or "How To Overcome Binge Eating Through Feng Shui". Not that I think there is any shame in having wrinkles or bad breath or an eating disorder - but if you are giving me something to help me resolve that problem then you are (a) telling me I have a problem which I might not be aware of or comfortable sharing (or actually a problem I might not have!) and (b) implying that you know better than I do how to address that problem. That will not fill me with festive cheer.

And if anyone does get you anti-wrinkle products for Christmas I recommend a little trick my sister came up with when someone tried to pull that stunt on us a few years back: look surprised, delighted, but a little embarrassed and hold it up while loudly saying "Oh gosh, for my bum! How did you know? Thank you!".

The one we were bought was one that claimed to fight "the seven signs of aging" which led to a four-day debate on what these signs were...

"Wearing cardigans is definitely one."
"I think buying Peter Gabriel albums might be one"
"Knowing the words to ABBA songs...?"
"Making a noise when you stand up?"
"Inability to use predictive text?"

Etc, etc. Feel free to add your own comedy signs of aging in comments if you know one!


CathElliott said...

Ohhh Kate, if I can put a tick next to all your signs of ageing does that mean I must be old?

Ah,it's ok, panic over, I don't wear cardigans (yet!)

Cruella said...

As I understand it a simple cream will solve all these issues. I'm just not sure where you should apply it...

Anonymous said...

Life-long cardigan-wearer here! You can't beat a nice comfy cardy.

Anyway, Kate, you have hit upon one of my most persistent bugbears - the anti-ageing product advert, with it's too-bright lighting and strangely expressionless women. I can't remember which one it is, but one of them at the moment says something as banal as "when you get older, you start to look older" as though it's the most devastating news a woman could hear, and I always think, "Oh well, if we're all going to start *gasp* LOOKING OLDER, we'd better just kill ourselves..."


GreyAreaUK said...

"Inability to use predictive text?"

Now, that's just not fair. No-one over the age of fourteen can do that well.

butterflywings said...

LOL. Am only 28 but know words to Abba songs. Should I admit that?
Also wear cardigans. In a young and fashionable way, of course.

Judith Weingarten said...

Wait until you reach the time to use Oreal's 'Age Perfect'. Sigh.

GreyAreaUK said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
GreyAreaUK said...

It's not the products that annoy me, nor the giving of them (although they fall under my 'no thought given' category, along with bath salts and aftershave).

No - for me it's the advertising that's frankly insulting. L'Oreal seem to be the worst culprits. They fill their adverts with pseudoscientific terms that make it sound like you're buying the Elixir of Youth.

What they say on the advert.
What they're not telling you

"Now containing Age Immuno Nano Spheres"
internal working name for 'castor oil'

"...containing our unique ActiveMoisturisation technology..."
otherwise known as 'tap water'

"...was found to be five times more effective at reducing wrinkles than competing products..."
competing products tried were: engine oil, some stuff we found in a pot at the back of the stores cupboard marked 'Sample#17 - Do Not Eat', and Marmite

Yes, I've made up the stuff above, but I hope you see what I mean.

I sometimes wondered where Brannon Braga went after he stopped writing Star Trek technobabble scripts. I think I now know.

Chris Rae said...

My uncle once bought my grandmother corn plasters for Christmas.

Dungeekin said...

I remember my mother once watching an advert for one of those creams - Ulay, as it was then.

They were pimping it as the perfect Mothers' Day gift. Mum quietly suggested that any of her offspring purchasing said gunk as a gift for her would swiftly find themselves cast from the house head first.

Words that I've always lived by!


Unknown said...

I can't find the original ad but I'm 99% certain in it Andie McDowell refers to wrinkles as 'lifelines' but this was later changed to ''deep set wrinkles''. I remember thinking the ''wrinkles as roadmaps'' philosophy seemed a bit odd in a wrinkle cream advert but quite liked it was really noticable when it became ''wrinkles as horrifically scarring signs of being old''.