This morning I was sorting out my son’s hair. He’s reached that age when his hair is more important to him than, say, breathing and woe betide us should we send him to school without first clagging his head up with gel, mousse, wax or any other industrial waste-like product to spring forth from the laboratories of some French cosmetics company (pretty sure they’re ALL French) to make it appear to the outside world that he’s been in some near-fatal industrial cocktail stick accident.
Now, don’t go getting all defensive of the French. With the above comment I wasn’t implying that being French was in any way a bad thing. It isn’t. (In fact, quite the contrary. I’d love to be French, that way I could get a job as a waiter and spend my life complaining, moaning and being downright surly and rude to customers and get paid for it. In Britain, should a waiter be even the slightest bit rude, he’d be hauled in front of the customer and be made to apologise before being summarily dismissed, and possibly shot, regardless of who was at fault. The customer could have cast aspersions on the waiter’s family name, his parentage and thrown steaming hot clam chowder into his fresh, facial hairless face, and should the waiter (or waitress, let’s not discriminate) offer even the slightest verbal retaliation, the horribly British tenet (though its origins are French, interestingly) of ‘The Customer is Always Right’ will be invoked and the waiting staff disciplined to within an inch of their life. Anyway, I digressed). I was simply heading towards a complaint about the use of certain descriptive words within the blurb on the back of these products, but I’ll come back to that later. I’ll continue with my original blustering.
So, son’s hair made suitably pointy I go to put the gel away and for the first time I actually clock what the product is called: Indestructible.
Now, far be it from me to be the one who suggests loudly that the manufacturer’s are not being truthful and wear undergarments that you wouldn’t go near a gas leak whilst wearing, I’m just not that kind of person. Nor am I the kind to mention anything to do with advertising standards, but indestructible hair gel? Really? Not Resilient hair gel? Or Durable hair gel? Tough? Hardwearing? How about Fantastically Resistant? I’m quickly running out of synonyms (regardless of how I may appear on screen, I’m actually incredibly dull-witted when it comes to vocabulary). Was every member of the legal team off sick that day?
Indestructible, just in case you’ve only recently gained cognitive thought, means that you can’t destroy it, (much like cockroaches, Twinkies or that memory that keeps coming back to you at the most inappropriate times (you know, that one that makes you screw your face up and flinch like you’ve just been hit in the eye with grapefruit juice)) so naming a product that you can remove using a bit of water or the vigorous rubbing of a towel as indestructible is possibly not the cleverest idea.
Now, make it capable of stopping bullets and able to protect me from thermonuclear blasts and we’ll talk.
And, do you know what other word bugs the crap out of me whenever I see it on cosmetics bottles?
Now, I’m sure some clever bastard will be all to eager to point out that actually the usage of the word technology is perfectly acceptable in this context as it pertains to the application of scientific knowledge to the resolution of practical problems, or something equally aggravating, and I’ll be all to eager to offer, ‘who gives a crap’ as a concise and well thought out rebuttal.
The word has no place in my bathroom unless it’s being used to describe the new machine that’s going to take all the straining out of having a crap.
“New Floaty shampoo, now with curl enhancing technology”
“Radiance Boosting Technology, now as standard in every bottle of Shine-o Hairspray!”
“Are your eyelashes boring? Increase their excitingness using all new eyelash long making technology!”
Technology. What a load of crap.
Yet people buy into it. They lap up all the shit about ‘increasing radiance’, ‘taughtening wrinkles’ and ‘plumping up skin’. Plumping? Isn’t that what you do to pillows or cushions by punching them? If that’s the case then remind me to pop over to Jamie Oliver’s house and plump up the skin of his nose.
If I ran the world (God, there’s an idea. Imagine if I ruled the world) the only way the word technology would be allowed on bathroom products would be if they contained miniature construction sets that you used for whatever the product was supposed to alleviate or make shinier. Imagine, spray to make your hair curlier that utilised ropes and pulleys to achieve the effect, or an incredibly resilient hair gel that relied on miniature scaffolding.
And what the hell are those survey’s all about?
“65% of women said that after using Urea’s Age De-oldifying Cream, their skin looked less old”
65%. Of women. Riiiight. So, in your universe, asking 132 women out of approximately 3 billion to try the cream and asking them what they thought constitutes a large enough evidence base to be able to say that 65% of all women thought it was great? I see. And, tell me, how did you come to that particular percentage? Correct me if I’m mistaken, but 65% of 132 is 85.8, so which particular participant in your, clearly cleverly designed market research, had such an internal struggle that she could only give an answer for 0.8 of herself?
I know the above is bollocks, but it’s certainly no more bollocks than the actual figures. Go and check for yourselves. Sit yourself in front of a TV and you’ll only have to wait a few minutes before some product claims to know just how the worlds female population would vote regarding the effectiveness of a given skin de-crapifying product.
And going back to that complaint I mentioned earlier about wording; why do products and their advertising use foreign words?
I watched one the other day that suggested the product was a rich crème. And it wasn’t simply the wording on the box, but the voiceover chappy on the advert actually used the word!!
Crème!? Crème!? Unless I missed a memo or my vocabulary skills are absolutely diabolical, the word I think your looking for is cream. It’s a rich cream. Crème is French. It means cream. Why use a French word to describe something that we have a perfectly serviceable word for!? It’s not like courgette or blancmange where we stole the French words and use them as if we invented them. We have a word and it’s cream!!!
One of them uses an Italian word for nourish, instead of nourish! It’s mental.
Right, I’m off. I’m actually not well (damned kidney infection), but see how I love you all so much that I make the effort to give you a little something to irritate your eyes and get stuck down the back of your brain.