Vanity Dies Hard

I almost clicked. Okay, I’m lying. I clicked but did not buy. Yet.

After watching the 18-minute video that came over my Instagram feed — skillfully crafted to keep me watching —I discovered the magic elixir.

The founder and CEO created the product for herself. She’s “just like me,” except for the white lab coat and cutting-edge research conducted in France. Naturally.    

She urges me to join her and countless other women who’ve experienced REAL results. Women’s faces transformed from Crone to Maiden in two short weeks. The Before and After shots are AMAZING. The women are glowing with confidence and their more youthful profiles like my own, circa 1995.   

I even followed the little quiz in the video: “Which of these five reasons cause skin to age?”  I got the answer right, so I’m feeling pretty confident. #4: Saggy, thin skin. That’s what causes a “jowly” appearance, the so-called marionette lines, the turkey neck…and the rest of it.  

This “Special Internet Offer” is not $300, although “most women would willingly pay that” for this miracle. Don’t forget, plastic surgery can cost upwards of $20K. 

At this point, the CEO is my new BFF, here to solve all of my insecurities about aging. Not only that, I can afford what she’s selling, maybe. She’s dangling all of that magic just above my head, making me wait for it. 

And wait, I did.

She even congratulated me for watching. “The fact that you’re still with me shows you really care about your health and skin.” 

Actually, it shows that I am, like you, possibly, a woman with mixed feelings about the clock and who views herself as relatively conscious, i.e, not superficial i.e; vain.  

A woman who has said on more than one occasion, “I hate my gray roots; I look like an old schoolmarm.”

If that statement isn’t sexist, ageist, and clear evidence of denial of my mortality, I don’t know what statement is. 

When I finally click, I’m told I can order four jars at a time if I wish, cutting the per unit price by two-thirds.

I take my finger off the cursor. That’s four jars of a product I haven’t even tried yet. That’s okay, though. I’m told I can order a jar and try it. And if I don’t see results, I don’t pay a dime.   

You see how it works? They got me.

Except they don’t got me —not entirely.

As I was about to click “Single Jar” (for $84, because I know you’re wondering), it occurred to me that this product is not in my budget. I also heard my stepmother’s pragmatic words when I was a blossoming teenager: “Be careful of what you put in your eyes and on your face.”      

I’m not saying I should quit coloring my hair or trying new products that have safe, healthy ingredients and may give my skin a plump, more youthful appearance.

I am saying that I want to be very aware when I’m being sold a temporary solution to a problem that isn’t going away.  And, the fact that I’ve bought into “looking old” as a problem warrants some soul-searching. 

I can blame the culture and capitalism but it comes down to vanity. My guess is it’s going to die hard, probably with the rest of me.   

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6 thoughts on “Vanity Dies Hard

  1. Yes… I just have in today to something to help my skin… same strategy. I was trying to ensure it was healthy ingredients first . I don’t want to give in to surgery but youth is definitely fleeting… Great piece capturing our ambivalence and being sold to.


  2. …conducted in France. Naturally….
    My favorite line, I admit, I’m a sucker for everything French. Must have been all those TCM’s that made an impression.
    Advertising is another world. I’ve never seen it the same after watching all seasons and episodes of Mad Men. They get you in the gut.


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