01 September 2007

Bottled Blondes and Man-Made Brunettes

I just blogged about this subject last week. I guess it's a hot one. A tepid one for me, since I likewise blogged it two years ago.

And a few months ago.

And a few months before that.

The media is all over it all of a sudden. Now the New York Times has caught up:
Bottled Blondes, You Too Can Break Free
By Natasha Singer

In an image-obsessed culture predominated by bottled blondes and man-made brunettes, a naturally gray-haired woman can be made to feel that she stands out like dandruff on a dark sweater. So it took some courage for Anne Kreamer, a contributor to More magazine and yahoo.com, to stop coloring her hair three years ago. "Gray hair has been stigmatized to mean sexually old or over, and we all want to maintain attractiveness," said Ms. Kreamer, 51, now the proud owner of a lustrous silver mane.
I guess what I find interesting is that the NYT web site does a great job cross-referencing articles - meaning, if an article is of interest in more than one section, it's listed in all the appropriate sections. For example, a book about politics would be in the Politics and Book sections.

This article, not surprisingly, is in the Fashion & Style section. But why isn't it cross-referenced in the Business/Advertising Section? The title is Bottled Blondes, You Too Can Break Free. So what's a bottled blonde? Maybe you should ask Shirley Polykoff (if she were alive).

This is a major change in the way mature (Marti Barletta calls them "PrimeTime") women are feeling about themselves. Mary Brown and Carol Orsborn also talk about this subject in their book, BOOM. Quoting Peggy Northrup, Editor of More Magazine:
"When we put attractive, successful women on our covers who look like they are between their late 40s and mid 50s, we sell lots more copies than when we go for the “40, could pass for 32” look. In fact, one of our highest selling issues of the past year had a great looking 53-year-old, gray-haired woman on the cover. You can see the crinkles around her eyes. We have to restrain our photographers from airbrushing these out."
I think everybody in the advertising industry should read the article.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.