will see two changes in me this year. One, I have become a
believer. The best I could manage to convince my otherwise
cynic self was to start by believing in something, say, brand
tag lines. After all, millions are spent every day around
the globe creating fancy (if somewhat bizarre ones, at times)
slogans. Having known the penniless (and stingy) breed of
brand managers from close quarters, the least I can do is
to be sure they will not be pumping their money into the ad
agency coffers if they didn't personally believe in what they
said. Two, and as an extension of the first resolution, I
have decided to turn brand conscious. That still doesn't mean
I'll shell out a fortune buying the Godzilla price-tagged
Levi's jeans in place of an equally comfortable export surplus
denim picked up from Hawker's Market, but it does mean that
I'll try and correctly associate the brands with their tag
lines and logos. So I'll no longer think that the Nike swoosh
belongs more appropriately on a Teacher's whisky bottle.
with this new belief that the marketers are there to pamper
me with the elixir for wellness, I walked into the supermarket
to buy myself the basic toiletries. For the first time in
my life, I spent time choosing the ones I thought suit my
temperament and personality. To give you an idea, here's what
I picked up in the trolley:
toothpaste that gives you the confidence to do the Axe Effect
(saving pennies there, these marketers, you see? As consumers,
they assume you know what the 'axe effect' is. It doesn't
go with my personality, but wanted to try it for a lark.)
gel that soothes tired, aching muscles, creating a relaxed
and calm feeling throughout your body through the day. (The
sticker on the container showed a cactus and a canary. To
tell you the truth, I didn't see why either should be there
on a soap bottle, or how the two could possibly be linked,
but in the larger scheme of things of the brand manager and
the advertising agency, these seemingly unconnected things
would certainly have made sense. I cringed at the thought
of the cactus caressing my skin, but picked it up all the
same. You have to have faith in your belief….)
Mountain Spring Fresh Fruit Shampoo: 'A clear shampoo for
natural shine, swing and fragrance with fresh lemon and orange
zest for treating your hair' (and using as the basic ingredients
for lemon soufflé, in case of a crisis). 'Made with
mountain spring water. Enjoy the aromas of cool sea air each
time you use this.' (And you thought only humans have an identity
conditioner that invigorates and rejuvenates because it 'Revitalises
the scalp with eucalyptus and peppermint. Adds shine with
lavender and geranium.'
Aromatherapy Body Lotion: 'Botanical extracts of magnolia
create a relaxing aura as this moisture-rich lotion is smoothed
onto the skin. Use regularly for improved resilience and elasticity.'
(The Hubby said this should be food for my mood instead, but
I ignored it.)
what I didn't:
*Anti-aging body gel that gives you back the skin you had
as a foetus.
toothpaste that makes you want to dance on your car roof.
cream that makes you beat Venus at the next beauty contest.
*Beauty soap that makes you answer intelligently at beauty
*Sun Screen lotion that makes day night for you.
*Super bounce and length enriched shampoo that makes sure
your beau trails you like your shadow.
I would be turning over a new leaf, this morning I took time
getting ready. What's the use of bathing with a calming and
soothing gel if you are rushing against time, throwing a fit
at how the clock seems to be working at thrice its normal
speed? Even as I gently worked up the shampoo into a rich
lather, I could feel the forgotten zing back in my life. Even
before the moisturiser bottle had been opened, I felt I had
attained nirvana. By the time I came out of the bath, I felt
it was a new radiant me gliding on the secure belief of self-assurance.
This was life! To think that I had wasted all these years…
finally stepped out of the room, a walking botanical park,
I strutted into the lounge where The Hubby was reading a magazine
and stood expectantly before him. Nothing happened. I cleared
my throat and stood there again, thinking perhaps the blob
of tooth gel on my toothbrush had been a bit too little for
the magnet to take 'effect'. Again, nothing happened. Where
were the electric sparks that were meant to spring from the
tube? I had three options before me: I could, maybe, move
closer to him and open my mouth wide for the charm to take
effect; I could go brush my teeth a second time; or simply
ignore this fiasco and move on with life. I decided on this
last and most practical option. After all, no brand promises
cent percent efficacy; even contraceptive pills factor in
that .05 % chance of lapse.
it the effect of the soothing bath gel that was countering
the efficacy of the tooth gel? Or was the zesty orange shampoo
up against the resilience-enhancing body lotion? I ran back
to the bathroom and read through the descriptions again. The
resurgent cynic in me mocked that having used them all together,
I may have inflicted the most contradictory assault on my
nervous system that it has ever been subjected to.
then, my eyes fell on the after-shave The Hubby has been using
these days. It read 'For the real man. Nothing can touch you
again.' So my belief stays put, strong and kicking. Next time,
I have decided to pick up the other set of toiletries…yes,
the ones that'll make me a beauty queen.
goodness I didn't wear that perfume that seduces.
(R) thedailystar.net 2004