Am I Renewed and Radiant Enough?

Has anyone seen the commercials for “Dove ClearTone” deodorant and “Tampax Radiant” tampons?  I caught these commercials on television the other night – I don’t know if they’ve been around awhile or if it’s just the first time I’m seeing them, but the message I got from these two ads was a) my armpits need renewing and b) my tampon is not radiant enough.  And isn’t that just the way with advertising?  To trick us into thinking that what we’re using isn’t good enough/radiant enough/renewing enough and that next new thing will make our lives so much better!

First up is “Dove ClearTone” deodorant.  The ad claims that this product “visibly reduces underarm dark marks for more even-looking skin tone in just 2 weeks”.  I thought those dark marks were just razor stubble and I needed to do a better job of shaving, but apparently shaving is the culprit.  Dove claims that shaving and the resulting dryness of underarm skin causes the offending discoloration; that’s why their product is so vital.  They are daring me to try their product and then bare my “renewed underarms”.  I like to multi-task – can’t I just slather some Regenerist under there when I’m done “renewing” my face and neck, which happen to be way more visible than my armpit skin?  I suppose that Dove’s new product is something of a multi-tasker itself, providing protection against odor and wetness while bleaching my armpits.  I just didn’t know I needed it.  Thanks for the heads up.

And then there’s the “Tampax Radiant” tampon ad.  I wonder what makes them “radiant”?  Do they glow in the dark for easy insertion during a blackout?  I just picture opening the box and being momentarily blinded.  The website states that:

New Tampax Radiant tampons give you an ultimate protection experience like never before! The Radiant tampon features FormFit™ protection that gently expands to fit your unique shape, a LeakGuard™ braid to help stop leaks before they happen, a CleanSeal™ wrapper—the first ever re-sealable wrapper for worry-free disposal—and a CleanGrip™ applicator designed for incredible comfort.

Okay – new, improved, enhanced, redesigned, convenient, revolutionary?  Maybe.  But radiant?  A bride is radiant.  The sun is radiant.  But a tampon is neither shining, luminous or bright.  Although if you’re caught without protection at that critical moment, having a tampon handy would be a pretty brilliant idea, to be sure.  In the commercial the actress utters the tagline “it helps keep my period out of sight, so I can stand out” – while the girls sniffing around her targeted cute guy disappear into sparkly poufs of smoke and some shimmering graphics dance around a tampon (my guess is that’s the radiant part).  Huh?  I guess the secret to getting the guy is using a sparkly tampon – excuse me, a radiant tampon.  I’d still close my eyes when opening the box, just to be safe.

So sorry, marketing mavens, but I’m perfectly happy with the products I currently use (which don’t happen to include either of these brands anyway), so I think I’ll skip the bleached armpits and glittery tampons.  But I did get sucked into buying a can of Kaboom FoamTastic bathroom cleaner today – you know the one that sprays on blue and turns white when clean??  The lure of graffiti tagging the bathtub with a freshly scented blue foam proved too great, and I caved – those advertising gods show no mercy. 🙂

Photo courtesy of Google Images

A Well Visit Wake Up

courtesy of Google images

I recently took my 11 year old son for his yearly well visit with the pediatrician.  At the end of the appointment, and after being assured all was indeed well, the doctor handed me a nifty little printout detailing the visit.  The first page listed current height and weight, any labs and tests ordered, results from vision and hearing screening, and any follow up appointments that needed scheduling.  How nice to have all that information neatly summarized on one page for easy reference – thank you, electronic medical records.

Then I turned the page.

The next page was captioned “11-14 Year Old Adolescent Visit”.  Adolescent?  My visceral reaction to reading this was “Holy sh*tballs! For reals?  Where did that come from?” I was just getting used to the term tween.  Tween is cute.  Last week he was still 10 years old.  This week he’s 11 and suddenly the word adolescent is being bandied about?  That just has a clinical ring to it I’m not sure I’m ready for.

And “11” is light years away from “14”.  In my inner panic all I could picture was a sullen, monosyllabic sleeping and eating machine who is six inches taller than me, at risk for trigger thumb from too much texting and suddenly interested in commercials for Axe deodorant.  This is a far cry from my sweet little boy who still reaches for my hand whenever we cross a busy street (if no one’s looking, of course).

I don’t know why I was so floored.  From infant to toddler to preschooler to big kid to tween (and technically I think I can still hold on to that one), my son’s new identifier as “11-14 Year Old Adolescent” is just the next step, right?  But there it was in black and white, mocking me as if to say “ready or not, here I come!”

The document went on to list information and guidelines about topics such as school performance, immunizations, testing, nutrition and oral health, physical, social and emotional development, and talking to your newly minted adolsecent about “risk behaviors” – you can just imagine what that’s about.

“Doctor,” I said, “Don’t get me wrong, I think this handout is great, but that ‘11-14 Year Old Adolescent’ thing kind of grabbed me by the throat.”  This man, who has been my son’s pediatrician for 10 years, laughed and said, “Yes, I know it’s a shock, but it’s here.”

And the hormone talk, like spring, must be in the air.  A few days later as I was looking over the curriculum topics to be covered in his class after the spring break, I noticed that “Puberty” was nestled in there between the Latin American Unit, Rocks and Minerals, and Essays and Fiction Writing.

I turned to my son and asked him if he knew what puberty was.  “I don’t know”, he shrugged “something about growing up, I guess”.

I have this tucked away. . .

Like the doctor said, it’s here.

It’s really here.

Have you had “the talk” with your kids yet?  How did you handle it?  What’s in store?  I really want to know!