February 15, 2009
Posted by on
Why is it that women get older, but men just get tired? Nivea for Men caught my attention a while back and now Lost's Matthew Fox keeps popping up on my TV screen wittering about living life to the full and not allowing himself to look tired. Apparently there are five signs of fatigue that your skin may show (dry, tight, dull, less firm, rough, dontchaknow; sounds similar to ageing to me) and so of course you need MOISTURISER! Sorry, no, you need "Hydra Energetic Turbo Booster".
When I've finished laughing about the kind of people who get paid to come up with this sort of branding crap, I am, of course, angry. And not because angry is my default setting (no, that's more of a bored superiority.) It's because of the double-standard-yet-again. Olay has seven signs of ageing, because the worst crime a woman can commit is to stop being a foxy, buxom, temptress. But men get tired, poor babies; when men age they still command respect and use their cash and bachelor-dom (the ex-wife having got custody in the divorce) to attract wily young minxes, so advertising can't leech off those latent insecurities. Somebody, somewhere, has clearly decided that men should be taught to fear tiredness just like women have been taught to fear wrinkles, cellulite and all food.
Incidentally, I note the obvious solution to looking "tired" – get some sleep – isn't mentioned. Because a company can't mass-market that.