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Monday, April 03, 2006

Just For (Shallow) Men

Even with the small amount of TV that I watch, I often see commercials for Just For Men's hair-coloring products. There are a lot of intentionally and unintentionally funny things about these commercials, so I usually take notice of them whenever they come on. Call that "effective advertising," but I find their commercials so repulsive that it's hard to turn away. Their newest line of commercials take on a whole new level of bad and shallow campiness.

After years of watching their various commercials, I get the gist that Just For Men is aiming for active males somewhere in their late 30s and late 40s. That's all well and good, but all of their commercials in the last four or five years have been targeted at the kind of active male lifestyle you see portrayed in Men's Health. You know, the type of male that's interested in appearing confident by looking good on the outside by burning tons of calories in a small amount of time, having six-pack abs, having a 32" waist and having awesome sex and so on. This is the kind of lifestyle that is not for me, but I've known people like this and I've always found this kind of lifestyle to be pathetic.

I have no issue with people wanting to color their hair. I have an issue with how men think they're being "real" and "natural" by covering up gray hair. I see a major distortion of what I know of as real and natural and it ticks me off. Coloring your hair is not natural, so thinking that yields to "real" and "natural" feelings really yields to a temporary thing in a string of temporary things.

What's funny about this mindset is, regardless of gender, it seems to be completely impossible to reach deeper realms. Most shallow people can only go so far into the deeper end of the pool before they revert back to the shallow end. Using something so surface as hair color for being a point of confidence (or lack thereof), it's no surprise that these people are all surface with no idea what deep feelings are.

Just For Men puts a lot of money into advertising their stance and sometimes they have fun with it and sometimes they try to be serious. When I mean serious, I mean serious like a soap opera tries to be serious.

As much as their commercials with Keith "I'm Keith Hernandez" Hernandez and Walt Frazier are meant to be tongue-in-cheek, there's a seriously sad overtone to them. As Hernandez and Frazier do play-by-play on the end of a date, the viewer sees a male given a cold shoulder by his female date. Well, obviously the reason for the cold shoulder is because the male has gray hair. Once the male has his "natural" coloring back thanks to Just for Men, the male has better luck on a replay date with the same female. Yeah, the hair color was the true difference.

In a new series of commercials, there is a focus on "real" feelings. From "real friends" having a good time at a wedding, "real understanding" between a father and his bummed-out, baseball-playing son to a "real connection" between a male and a female on a date, I find nothing "real" in this transition of hair color. Like getting Botox injections for wrinkles, I see this as a desperate attempt to avoid looking and feeling old. Your inside appearance affects your outside appearance, not the other way around.

At 27, I'm thankful that I have a full set of brown hair. I like the color and I like the fact that it covers all of my head. I know that I'm not always going to have a full set of hair in my natural brown color, so when it begins to gray/fall out, I'm not going to stress out. I'd rather present my imperfect self to the world rather than play with nature in hopes of being accepted.

1 comment:

Eric said...

I am also 27 and would like to point out that although my hair is brown, there is noticably less of it around than when I was 21. My wife thinks I should use Rogaine. Nope.