Remember Bucky Beaver and Ipana toothpaste? That little guy made kids WANT to brush their teeth, and adults knew that it probably contained enough sugar to rot half of his mouth but hey, it made them WANT to brush their teeth, and they would have a new teeth coming in later anyway, so parents happily went off to the grocery store for Ipana. Kids paid attention to Bucky Beaver. He wore that cool cap, remember?
A woman's "specials needs" were a little easier to cope with knowing that the attractive 20 something aged model could help us little ladies be "just like her" with the mere purchase of a bottle of Midol. Golly gee, we had our own "special" wonder pill that made those "special" headaches and abdominal aches magically go away and we could still stay sober. Personally I remember my mom giving me a bottle of those little gems as a teenager and I think the ONLY way they would have worked was with a martini or two which I was not of an age at that time to request. Of course, those little ladies also met her man at the door each night with that liquid concoction all stirred and appropriately iced, apron appropriately tied in a cute bow, so who knows if she spiked her portion with a Midol or two?
Who out there remembers Ben Gay ointment for arthritic pain (which, by the way actually did work and is still on the market) and Geritol. These products were steered to the "older crowd" who had gray hair, dentures, and a distressed look that miraculously disappeared the moment they properly rubbed/ingested their way to a bright, happy smile...at least until they were off camera. But we knew, just by LOOKING at the models, that those products should work because -hey - those dad-gum people looked just like us!
Those commercial models/spokespersons let us know by their appearance how to dress, wear our hair, and how to be properly seen in public. We didn't need articles to TELL us how to do these things, we had moving pictorials - the forerunner of today's online tutorials - to show us. But today, the age appropriate commercial actors seem to be younger, their clothes skimpier, and their over-the-counter "helps" have turned into medical procedures: tummy tucks, Botox injections, face lifts. Oh, and let's not forget the wonder drug Viagra which alludes that getting some "afternoon delight" is somehow more important than an afternoon nap.
Well, apparently we have reached the point where we have lost the commercial messages that subliminally taught us how to dress "your age". Rachel Fischer Spalding, a writer for the online Lifescript newsletter (Your Health. Your Life. Your Way.) has come up with this gem: