Thursday, January 22, 2009

Another in the unending series of things I don't get....

Touch of Gray...I think that's what it's called. And no, I'm not referring to the Grateful Dead song. It's the latest innovation in grooming products developed to help women feel old and inferior to men in a whole new way.

Used to be that there was one thing a certain group of women (and men) of a particular age shared was their aversion to going gray. Because many (most?) women are just needy and insecure enough to obsess about matching our specific hair color down to the last spec on a single strand, hair color companies are delighted to produce scores of boxes in scores of shades to feed our obsession.

Men who were concerned about losing their natural hair color to the ravages of time needed exactly one product to tint their hair and it was called something that had exactly nothing to do with air color: Grecian Formula. God knows. The Greeks usually have a decent head of hair? And it's dark, not gray? Whatever.

That has changed, according to the latest commercial I've seen for a new men's hair color product. Apparently, while a LOT of gray is bad, some gray is good. We've heard this for years - the distinguished sideburns, the salt and pepper bon that look is in a bottle.

The models (model? Maybe it's the same guy with two different looks) in the commercial make me laugh. The one with the fully gray / white head portrays this geezer kind of guy with one foot in the grave. The young guy with the lovely dark locks is chipper and 'ready to roar,' in the words of Prince, someone, I suspect,who has never and will never touch a drop of hair color.

But hey - why look like an old coot or an inexperienced young jerk? Have the best of both worlds by using Touch of Gray. The tagline at the end - where we find the perfectly coiffed guy with the perfect number of gray hairs on his head - is something like: "My look says experience" (the gray guy). "Mine says energy" (the brown guy). Now you have the best of both worlds.

I can't quite remember the end of this story because I'm annoyed and envious. For women, a touch of gray may as well be a helmet of gray. There is no middle. And now there is a product that allows men to practically count the number of gray hairs they want on their heads to create the right look of distinction for themselves.

I suppose women could buy touch of gray. I wonder if the company tried testing it with women? If they did, I predict they were laughed out of the focus groups.


Casey Claus said...

Okay Renee, I find this funny. as an almost 50 male who now keeps his head shaved, I don't worry about this. I'm waiting for when the world changes, and they start selling products to make 20 somethings look older. It's coming, I swear!

renee said...

It is hilarious. Only in America, among men who are increasingly inclined to invest in grooming products,could a company make something like this and market is successfully. To find that sweet spot of youth and wisdom that this product ostensibly represents.
The spot that, unfortunately, does not exist for women.

Anonymous said...

This is funny and sad at the same time. Women, after all these years, still get the short end of the stick when it comes to societies opinions of youthfulness. I see it on television EVERYDAY.
I, too, have seen that commercial and while gray used to be a sign of wisdom and maturity, now, it seems, that it is a liability and we fellows don't walk, but run to find some sort of "fountain of youth".
I guess the next product will pitch the NEED for us guys to have the MID LIFE CRISIS lotion.

Alfonso Todd

renee said...

Thank you for your comment, Alfonso. A mid-life crisis product of some kind will be available someday, you can count on it. A kit, a workbook, a series of DVDs - something to help you address and manage your MLC. The two different kinds of packaging will reflect the male or female sensibility. Each will have a MLC spokesperson who is gong to help us through this....there will be workshops and meetings so we can all talk about how our own unique MLC is different from the everyone else's MLC.
You wait - it'll happen.
The free gift you get for joining the group will be the lotion you mention!