There is a lot to be said about the psychology and subliminal messages behind sales and advertising. Throw in some of our own secret goals or desires and the marketers have a winning formula! Below is a personal memoir you may relate to or at least have a quiet chuckle at!
So, I’m in Woolies the other day with a trolley half full of groceries, when I realized I left my wallet in the car. I asked my children if they would kindly go back to the car and get it for me. Finding myself with time to kill I wandered to the health and beauty isle where staring me in the face was a sale on DIY hair bleaching product entitled “Nordic Blonde.” I pick it up. The chick on the front looks beautiful, her hair colour perfect. I consider the dark roots an inch long on my head and want to look like her. I know she may well be 20 years or more my junior, but I’m still in denial about being just out of high school & naturally begin to imagine if I use this product I will look like her. I mean, that’s what they are suggesting subconsciously and they are not allowed to lie, are they? That would be false advertising which I’m sure is illegal!
I look back at the shelf. There is only one box left. Clearly, other women want to look like her too and there has been a rush on this immensely popular product. “Bummer” I think, I know from past experiences that I would need to purchase 2 boxes for the length of my hair. But she is smiling at me, reassuring me everything will turn out just fine. I don’t dye my own hair anymore, I gave that up more than a decade ago clearly leaving that type of thing to professionals worked out much better in my world.
I look back at the smiling reassuring box. It’s on sale, I’d be saving money! I think I have another beautiful blonde woman on a box similar to this one stored in the back of my bathroom cupboard from a decade ago, I could use the two and everything will be ok. She smiles at me as if to say “you got this!” I agree and toss it into the trolley.
The kids arrive with my wallet. We pay and head home.
9.30pm. I’m tired. I have finished putting the kids to bed, Hubby and eldest son are watching the footy show. This is as good a time as any to begin the transformation into the Nordic Blonde Goddess. She is still smiling from my bathroom bench. I rummage through to the back of the cupboards, no other smiling blond in sight. Oh well, how hard can it be? I’ll just do the roots and randomly drag portions of the Nordic bombshell cream through varying pieces of hair to blend it in.
I read the instructions twice, check I have all the key components, put the plastic oversized gloves on, mix up the magic potion and begin to squeeze the bottle from my part downwards like spaghetti strands. I decide confidently on mistake number 2, to massage it in a little. (in hindsight, mistake number 1 was to purchase it). I have more left in the bottle. Not wanting to waste it I lift the top layer and clip it up to go again for round 2 underneath. I massage that in a little too. I am now up to too many mistakes to continue counting. I do some more at the back that I am completely blind to, trusting in good faith, that the Nordic Queen will guide me and work her magic.
I finish the squeezy bottle and check the roots. They are a little orange but not to worry that is the natural process which I had already been educated on via the instructions I read twice. I still have 20 minutes until the maximum “don’t leave it on any longer than 45 minutes!!” cut off.
I pin it all up, pop on a shower cap and toddle off to check on my Instagram account. The 45-minute mark arrives, I go back to the mirror. We are still a little orange. Never mind, Nordic Smiler came with not one but two sachets of toner assuring me that any “gold” colour will be toned out in no time.
I shower, shampoo, towel dry and apply the purple magic. The maximum 3 minutes goes by so I shower, shampoo, condition and dry once again. My reflection is still mildly concerning. Perhaps drying it will help the blotchy orange chunks.
Husband comes in. We begin a conversation. He stops and looks at me silently then asks, “Have you done something to your hair?” “I’ve lightened it” I reply. He cacks profusely, then encouragingly says, “You look like Beaker.”
Visions of the Muppets flood my mind along with the noise of one skinny felt being with a mouth rapidly opening and closing, fearfully screaming “me me me me me me” is surpassed only by a mop of bright orange fuzz sticking up from his head.
“I will have to go to the shop and get something to fix it tomorrow,” I respond.
“You are MRS BEAN!” He counteracts walking off sniggering.
My positive attitude is yet unperturbed. I visualize the fedora hat I had my eye on in a local store the other day and begin working an outfit to go with it that would be suitable for the business workshop I’m attending the next morning at 9 am.
In the morning light, I think it’s slightly better. I may not need the hat after all. I still have one magic purple sachet, things are looking up. I briefly consider the emotionally motivating text message I could send to my hairdresser who has recently stopped working due to having twins. I push the thought aside and head to the kitchen.
Eldest son sleepily walks in. “Whoa mum, you’re a Ranga! What’s going on?” Husband is still laughing. Other two Heavenly Cherubs join us. It’s like a new enclosure at Taronga Zoo. “What’s mum done?” They ask. “I tried lightening my hair,” I answer.
“What’s the difference between mum and an orangutan?” Encouraging husband asks. “The orangutan is not as orange.” Daughter comes over and hugs me with a sad face. I am sniggering quietly, partly out of joining in the fun and games but partly out of growing nervous panic of how to correct this self-inflicted catastrophe.
“Can I call you my little ranga?” Husband asks. “No” I shake my head. “How about my Ginger Ninja?” Yep, I nod silently thinking how I recently commented on how many of the amazing athletes on Australian Ninja Warrior were of ginger hair, and hence wondering if I had somehow in subconscious admiration wanted to be like them……
I wander back to the bathroom to put purple magic sachet number 2 on my head, praying it will all work out. After showering & blow drying I decide curling might help with the blotchy patches.
Kids & Hubby have departed for the bus run to school and I am left on my own to confidently walk out with my curled locks with strawberry blond roots. I’m ready to embrace the business world and perhaps another Nordic Blond Ice queen, who knows what will be on sale today!