Helen Mead: There’s just too much to choose from

Helen Mead: There’s just too much to choose from

Helen Mead: There’s just too much to choose from

First published in Latest

INVISIBLE Dry; Ultra Dry; Silk Dry: oh how I long for the days when a deodorant was just that, a stick of deodorant — plain and simple.

When I was a teenager there was Mum and there was Sure. Girls usually chose the latter for its feminine packaging, while men opted for the former, lured by the advert, showing a tick shape on a sweaty, muscular body which stayed dry even when they ran across the Sahara or hacked through a rainforest.

Now we’ve got all manner of them: home and dry, high and dry, bone dry and a host of other varieties that leave people like me — sent by my daughters on a shopping errand — dazed and confused.

There’s one that’s ‘invisible’, and another that’s ‘double invisible’. Does that mean your underarms completely disappear? Then there’s a few that are described as ‘dermo’ in the same way as a face cream: dermo repair, dermo sensitive, dermo beauty, and again, invisible. Very puzzling.

I checked out the ingredients on a few of them and they’re pretty much the same. So why not produce just two or three, instead of 103?

Hair products are as bad. When I was a girl my mum bought Vosene, which to me smelled revolting — more like medicine than shampoo. Even now, the aroma takes me back to that horrible Sunday night hair-wash-school-next-day feeling.

As an anti-dandruff shampoo, Vosene hadn’t a lot of competition in those days. Head and Shoulders, that’s about it. Now there’s all sorts on the market and, from the line up, dandruff seems the least of our worries.

Now we need to repair and protect, strengthen, volumise, straighten, you name it, we are doing it to our hair.

Much of it, I believe, is a big con. I use all sorts of products recommended by my daughters to tackle dry, frizzy hair and they don't seem to be any more effective than washing-up liquid.

I won’t even mention toothpaste. Should I get the one that protects gums or tackles plaque or preserves enamel? And what about my actual teeth? Are the ones that give active protection less effective than those that simply offer protection?

Too much choice, that’s what we’ve got. That's why it takes us half a day to do the weekly shop.

It took me 15 minutes and a text home before I settled upon a deodorant. I keep urging my daughters to take a leaf out of my dad’s book: he has never used deodorant and has always used soap to wash his hair. He doesn't smell and his hair looks fine.

Comments (9)

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8:33am Tue 15 Apr 14

Kevin, Colne says...

Your article highlights rather well the notion that markets have morphed from the exchange of goods and services based primarily upon need into ones that are now driven in large part by the supremacy of wants - many of which through the process of murketing are now perceived as needs.

In short, a considerable portion of modern day consumerism is predicated on manipulating the beliefs and actions of consumers like never before. The idea that the economic agent is being led and fooled – in other words we are dupes - has never been explored properly within current mainstream economic discourse, or in everyday conversation. On the contrary the consumer has been afforded the enduring characteristic of pure rationality, and elevated to the rank of supreme and sovereign god.

This is The Big Lie: consumers portrayed as being empowered, when in truth they are acting as dupes.

Most people respond to the idea that they are being duped by claiming to be able to repel and ignore attempts by others to manipulate their beliefs and actions, and believe that they are immune to the blandishments of advertising while conceding that although other people may succumb they will not.

All the evidence shows that we are easily led, and the murketeers know this.
Your article highlights rather well the notion that markets have morphed from the exchange of goods and services based primarily upon need into ones that are now driven in large part by the supremacy of wants - many of which through the process of murketing are now perceived as needs. In short, a considerable portion of modern day consumerism is predicated on manipulating the beliefs and actions of consumers like never before. The idea that the economic agent is being led and fooled – in other words we are dupes - has never been explored properly within current mainstream economic discourse, or in everyday conversation. On the contrary the consumer has been afforded the enduring characteristic of pure rationality, and elevated to the rank of supreme and sovereign god. This is The Big Lie: consumers portrayed as being empowered, when in truth they are acting as dupes. Most people respond to the idea that they are being duped by claiming to be able to repel and ignore attempts by others to manipulate their beliefs and actions, and believe that they are immune to the blandishments of advertising while conceding that although other people may succumb they will not. All the evidence shows that we are easily led, and the murketeers know this. Kevin, Colne
  • Score: 2

1:42pm Thu 17 Apr 14

myhatisgrey says...

When life is fulfilling there are no wants. A person with the ability to make every persons need self-fulfilling is a dangerous person.
When life is fulfilling there are no wants. A person with the ability to make every persons need self-fulfilling is a dangerous person. myhatisgrey
  • Score: 0

1:54pm Thu 17 Apr 14

myhatisgrey says...

There is something people do not know. This allows them to be duped and led and indoctrinated and even robbed. They are led to beleive they are the subject of something, at the mercy of something, not in command of something and unable to change everything.

THE BIG TRUTH is that they can, actually transform everything and do and undo anything God has done. They can change everything and they can out-do everything that has ever been created, or ever been marketed or gone to market.
There is something people do not know. This allows them to be duped and led and indoctrinated and even robbed. They are led to beleive they are the subject of something, at the mercy of something, not in command of something and unable to change everything. THE BIG TRUTH is that they can, actually transform everything and do and undo anything God has done. They can change everything and they can out-do everything that has ever been created, or ever been marketed or gone to market. myhatisgrey
  • Score: 0

2:01pm Thu 17 Apr 14

myhatisgrey says...

Feeling Divine is part of being human and being human is part of feeling divine. When we feel divine are we are divine. We act in synch with a feeling that is divine and we all have this feeling that is divine. There are no exceptions. To be human is to be divine and to be divine is to be human for a time.
Feeling Divine is part of being human and being human is part of feeling divine. When we feel divine are we are divine. We act in synch with a feeling that is divine and we all have this feeling that is divine. There are no exceptions. To be human is to be divine and to be divine is to be human for a time. myhatisgrey
  • Score: 0

2:06pm Thu 17 Apr 14

myhatisgrey says...

People have forgotten they can transform and be divine at any time. They have been misled and over time, they have been dis-attracted away from this knowledge and they have forgotten, they have been robbed of this beautiful knowledge.
People have forgotten they can transform and be divine at any time. They have been misled and over time, they have been dis-attracted away from this knowledge and they have forgotten, they have been robbed of this beautiful knowledge. myhatisgrey
  • Score: 0

2:10pm Thu 17 Apr 14

myhatisgrey says...

People don't usually ask themselves - did I choose to feel divine today ?
People don't usually ask themselves - did I choose to feel divine today ? myhatisgrey
  • Score: 0

2:25pm Thu 17 Apr 14

myhatisgrey says...

Just out of interest, what does any woman do with a man who is more devoted to her than he is devoted to sex.
Just out of interest, what does any woman do with a man who is more devoted to her than he is devoted to sex. myhatisgrey
  • Score: 0

2:37pm Thu 17 Apr 14

myhatisgrey says...

Kevin, Colne wrote:
Your article highlights rather well the notion that markets have morphed from the exchange of goods and services based primarily upon need into ones that are now driven in large part by the supremacy of wants - many of which through the process of murketing are now perceived as needs. In short, a considerable portion of modern day consumerism is predicated on manipulating the beliefs and actions of consumers like never before. The idea that the economic agent is being led and fooled – in other words we are dupes - has never been explored properly within current mainstream economic discourse, or in everyday conversation. On the contrary the consumer has been afforded the enduring characteristic of pure rationality, and elevated to the rank of supreme and sovereign god. This is The Big Lie: consumers portrayed as being empowered, when in truth they are acting as dupes. Most people respond to the idea that they are being duped by claiming to be able to repel and ignore attempts by others to manipulate their beliefs and actions, and believe that they are immune to the blandishments of advertising while conceding that although other people may succumb they will not. All the evidence shows that we are easily led, and the murketeers know this.
Excellent post Kevin!
[quote][p][bold]Kevin, Colne[/bold] wrote: Your article highlights rather well the notion that markets have morphed from the exchange of goods and services based primarily upon need into ones that are now driven in large part by the supremacy of wants - many of which through the process of murketing are now perceived as needs. In short, a considerable portion of modern day consumerism is predicated on manipulating the beliefs and actions of consumers like never before. The idea that the economic agent is being led and fooled – in other words we are dupes - has never been explored properly within current mainstream economic discourse, or in everyday conversation. On the contrary the consumer has been afforded the enduring characteristic of pure rationality, and elevated to the rank of supreme and sovereign god. This is The Big Lie: consumers portrayed as being empowered, when in truth they are acting as dupes. Most people respond to the idea that they are being duped by claiming to be able to repel and ignore attempts by others to manipulate their beliefs and actions, and believe that they are immune to the blandishments of advertising while conceding that although other people may succumb they will not. All the evidence shows that we are easily led, and the murketeers know this.[/p][/quote]Excellent post Kevin! myhatisgrey
  • Score: 0

10:30am Wed 23 Apr 14

myhatisgrey says...

An unconditional feeling is responsible and it has a direct corelation to a need present in humans, for an unconditional feeling. Due to a lack of interest in an unconditional feeling, there is confusion, carnage and exploitation, which no amount of emoting and logic will cure.

People need to be clear about what they do and what they do is determined by what drives them. Usually, they are driven by the rational and the emotional under ordinary conditions. What rarely drives them, is the need for an unconditional feeling.
An unconditional feeling is responsible and it has a direct corelation to a need present in humans, for an unconditional feeling. Due to a lack of interest in an unconditional feeling, there is confusion, carnage and exploitation, which no amount of emoting and logic will cure. People need to be clear about what they do and what they do is determined by what drives them. Usually, they are driven by the rational and the emotional under ordinary conditions. What rarely drives them, is the need for an unconditional feeling. myhatisgrey
  • Score: 0

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