I’ve spent a lot of years living with the opposite sex, so you’d think that just through osmosis I’d learn a bit of their language. My wife once asked me to pick up a pair of ‘taupe’ pantyhose for her – with the reinforced toe. Right…taupe…reinforced toe.
For me, a reinforced toe meant a work boot with the green ‘steel toe’ tag on it.
Eventually I leaned that ‘taupe’ was light brown or beige…but not beige, just more of a creamy beige…but not really beige.
Then, just when I figured I knew the entire colour chart; red, blue, green, yellow, brown, black…and beige, they throw a new one at me – mauve.
I can honestly say that I can’t tell you with any certainty what colour mauve is supposed to be. Maybe something in the green or purple spectrum? I don’t know. It’s all very confusing.
The other day a free fashion magazine showed up in the mail, presumably for my wife, but I’m always excited to have new reading material while I take care of business. Last year’s Ikea catalogue just doesn’t hold my attention like it used to.
After flipping through 90 pages of glossy ads and articles about ‘what’s hot this fall’, I put it down totally confused and bewildered. Barely 10 words made any sense to me. I had no idea that there were ‘25+ fall make-up ideas‘. 25!
I might not be the desired demographic for a women’s fashion magazine, but I’m not completely void of any fashion sense…am I?
I’m at least as fashion forward as the next suburban, middle-aged, beer drinking, barbecuing guy. I know that you never wear socks with sandals, or wear a shirt that ‘peek-a-boo’s’ your big hairy gut. At least, not to a sit-down restaurant.
Let me unpack some of what I find confusing. In 2 different advice columns, the writers completely contradict each other. One is telling me that overdoing style layers is akin to genocide. Later on in a Fall Fashion spread, the author says to pile on the layers to make a bold statement. Huh?
The whole magazine is full of these contradictions, but the advertisements are the worst! Here’s the actual tag line for a beauty cream ad:
“Conceal and treat your imperfections. Reveal your true self.”
Did I miss something here? How do you reveal your true self by concealing your imperfections? Isn’t your ‘true self’ all about the real you, imperfections and all?
In one page, there were tag lines that promote ‘clean and fresh’ and then go right into ‘conceal and hide’. Why are we concealing and hiding if we’re clean and fresh? Shouldn’t we be revealing if we’re clean and fresh?
This code language is totally beyond me. I get that. Like I said, I’m not the target demographic, but I suspect there are more than a few women out there who are as confused as I am.
No wonder young girls are so perplexed with the whole mess that they run out and spend hundreds of college tuition dollars on cosmetics, take them home and end up looking like this…
This strange and foreign magazine is as difficult to understand as a 1985 VCR owners manual. But even with that, I figured out how to make the clock stop flashing 12:00:00 all the time.
It’s not just the contradictions, but the price of the stuff in these fashion magazines that really kills me! While a model sits in a cow field on a bail of hay, looking all serious and sullen, the text below her talks about her clever way of layering a ‘SNOOD’ over her $595 dress.
First of all, what the heck is a ‘snood’? Is it a new colour? Like mauve? No, based on the picture, it looks like some sort of….blanket, coat, poncho? And why would anyone put one over a dress that cost more than a month’s worth of groceries?
She’s also wearing ‘fun’ wedge shoes – only $750! If a pair of those landed in my house, well…there’d probably be one less car in the driveway to pay for them. Try walking to work in those ‘fun’ $750 shoes,and see how much ‘fun’ they still are.
I’m pretty sure a lot of the stuff in these magazines is just made up by the fashion and cosmetics industry to keep men in the dark about what women need or want in their closets and makeup bags.
I just saw a neck cream ad that boasts the active ingredient, ‘Gravitite-CF’ to lift and tighten skin. Graveitite? It’s been years since high school chemistry class, but I don’t recall learning about the element ‘Gravitite’.
Men would never fall for such thinly veiled attempts at making us think a catchy name will make us buy something.