I recently asked my gorgeous and young-looking friend Michelle about the skin care products she uses, mostly because I am not 34 anymore and feel like I should spend a little more effort preserving what I've got. Michelle recommended two product lines, both found on quite convincing infomercials: Cindy Crawford's Meaningful Beauty and Victoria Prinicipal's Principal Secret Reclaim line. I tried products from both at her house one afternoon and was stuck with a tough dilemma: do I want to look like a Supermodel Mom or a seemingly ageless Actress?
After much consideration, I went with the Principal Secret, mostly because it smelled good and the focus seemed to be a little more on improving your skin while the Cindy products were mostly about maintaining. So I ordered a kit online and waited to start glowing.
A very official looking box came a few days later. When I opened it up, practically tingling with anticipation, I was greeted by a large, slick piece of paper that proclaimed (and I am not making this up):
You are about to embark upon an unprecedented beauty adventure..."
An unprecedented beauty adventure? Really???? Now, I can hang out at Sephora, the makeup store, for HOURS with Michelle until they kick us out at closing. Most of my disposable income goes towards new makeup and tools. I GET the makeup and beauty thing. But I had NEVER been invited to go on such a highly touted beauty adventure... this seemed, even to me, to be a little much.
And I am very happy to report that I started using my products that night and am thrilled with them. I am on my Unprecedented Beauty Adventure and loving every minute of it.
Along the same lines of marketing pressure, I don't know if you know this, but I am pregnant. (Oh, REALLY, Cheryl? Why not mention it a few million more times???) If you want to feel marketing pressure, go register at Babies R Us or another baby-supply store. Holy cow. I made a registry, mostly because there were a few things I wanted to make sure I didn't forget to buy for myself, and was given a nice, slick, registry packet that has lots of tips about how to spend about $58,397 to get ready for your infant. In the middle of the packet is a list labeled The "Must-Haves" Registry Checklist, and I am not exaggerating: this two page list has 153 items on it.
153 separate items... and that does not count things that you "must have" multiples of.
I remember when I was pregnant with Michaela, Dan and I went to a baby store and I had to leave after 10 minutes. All the pregnant women, all the anxiety in the air, all the scurrying around Trying-to-Buy-the-Absolute-Best-for-My-Baby vibe was driving me crazy.
At least this time not only do I already have 90% of what I need, I know exactly what I use and what I don't use to take care of an infant. But I feel so bad for pregnant first time moms and the marketing machine that's in place to convince them that they need 153 items to care for their child which only adds to the pressure they feel to do the whole motherhood thing perfectly from the start.
Like if you have the 153 items, all will be okay.
Here's my advice: get some diapers and wipes, some sleepers, some blankets, and a big bottle of wine*. The rest is just gravy.
*This list is NOT endorsed by the Academy of American Pediatrics.