Mascara has had a rough week. A recent New York Times article reported that the National Advertising Division is cracking down on mascara ads for falsely advertising their product via…falsies. (Or “lash inserts,” per the fine print at the bottom of such ads.)
Essentially, the thinking is that using fake lashes in mascara ads leads women on to thinking that their results will be exactly like Freja Beha Erichsen’s. I understand this concern. One time I saw an advertisement for those sneakers that make your butt look better and I just knew that if bought those sneakers, I’d be the next butt model in their campaign. Also, sometimes I see pictures of Freja like, anywhere — the street, the runway, in magazines — then I sort of assume I look like her by osmosis.
“If you’re going to sell me a product based on a photograph, then that photograph needs to be truthful,” executive director of Truth in Advertising Bonnie Patten told the New York Times. “You can’t assume that I have a degree in how many lashes a normal person has in her eyes.”
I don’t have a degree in this either. I wish I did, but I don’t.
It’s unethical to persuade people to buy something that can’t deliver what it promises, and advertorial lies inevitably lead to a discussion on propaganda. But there’s just something so innocent about mascara, so quiet and loving, like it never wanted anything other than to make you look more awake, that just makes me want to give it a little hug by way of typed words on this here computer. I want to tell mascara that it’s not its fault that it was sort of poorly misrepresented by way of faux spidery stems. “You work just fine without them, I swear,” I want to coo to it as I coat my own lashes with the magical paint.
The truth is that I don’t know where I’d be today without mascara. In Tuesday’s post while waxing endlessly on the cost of looking natural, I wrote, “I’m perfectly fine running around sans ‘face’ no matter how much of an earwig I resemble without mascara on — I really don’t care.” This is true, I don’t care…but I also kind of do, you know?
When I apply mascara it shows those around me that I care about them. It says, “Hey you. Hey world. I’m going to put this shit on my lashes out of respect for the fact that you get to look at me all day long, and in the same way that I’m wearing my favorite shoes and my coolest jacket, I’m also making my eyelashes look like I stuck my finger in an electrical outlet of awesome.”
When I put mascara on, I feel prettier. I do not feel pretty when I put on a crap brand and the formula clumps and suddenly I look like I mixed sand with black ink and called it a day, but when I use my favorite brand or one of its lovely sisters-that-are-also-competitors (like Venus and Serena!) I become a changed woman. My confidence grows. My smizing ability goes up ten fold and I feel like I own the world with the bat of my lash. This is all because of you, mascara. You, who on my absolute strangest day where my hair is being evil and staticky and my skin is arguing and my eyes are crossing, are always ready and willing to jump in and light my face up like the reflection of July 4th fireworks on open, glorious water. (In this case you are the fireworks, mascara, and I, the water.)
I guess what I’m trying to say is…I love you.
Don’t let the haters get you down. They probably just haven’t found their brand yet.
What’s your favorite brand? And what do you love about it? And please, for the love of everything good in this world, please post a picture of your lashes all done up. (And if you do wear “falsies” let me know because I am utterly intrigued and kind of want to try.)