I solemnly promise that the day a group of young people turns up at a cosmetic surgeon’s practice and asks for wrinkly and sagging skin, I will eat my words. But until then, I maintain that we don’t want to see old people in the nude doing commercials. They have every right to do so, but it’s not a pretty sight.
As a senior baby boomer myself and most definitely not a gymnophobe, I encourage middle-aged people to live a full life. “Go for it!” by all means but please keep your clothes on in public. There has been a trend lately of depicting an elderly couple in the nude advertising some product . My initial reaction to this was “I hope I won’t look like that when I’m their age.” Frankly, the whole thing was a turn-off, so much so that I have no idea what they were advertising. If you can’t remember the product that’s being promoted, then the commercial can’t be successful, can it?
The purpose of advertising is to sell a dream. This is especially so in the field of cosmetics and skin care. Deep inside the recesses of our brain we know that none of those lotions and potions will make us look younger. We know that the best skin care is avoiding the sun and eating healthy food. But we still live in hope that a lotion will fix what time and an unhealthy life style have ravaged. Perhaps the next magic ingredient will do the trick.
So what we don’t need is a dose of reality and this is where those ads with genuine “real women” fail. I’m referring here to the Dove campaign which promotes all kinds of women, be they thin, fat, old, young. Again, while I applaud the fact that Dove has tried to portray “the average woman” I doubt that such ads promise me anything more than validation.
It’s not enough, however, since I am already fully aware what the average woman looks like. Surely, what I’m looking for is to look better than that and if I’m going to spend my money it’s certainly not because I want to continue looking the way I do. If Dove tells me that I look okay the way I am, then why should I buy their products? Obviously, I don’t need them, do I?
Quite frankly, I no longer fall for the hype because experience has taught me that it’s rubbish. However, that doesn’t stop me from hoping that one day something will be discovered that will do the trick. So, in a way, some of that hype still lingers.
There’s nothing wrong with dreaming, however, and hope is a wonderful thing. The Dove ads don’t give me hope and they probably are not meant to. The most that they do is to make me feel I’m adequate, I guess… Ho Hum.
It’s the same as being told I look good and then hearing that awful caveat…”for my age”. It just doesn’t do a thing for my vanity. Who wants to be reminded? The old nude couple is too harsh a dose of reality of things to come and I would rather not be confronted by it in advertising. But when they start looking pretty good to me, that’s the time to start worrying. By then it will probably be too late, so who cares?