“Nope, Erin, I don’t tan,” my co-worker said, lifting her flowing blue skirt to show me her almost transparent knee. “I could sit outside in the sun all day and all this Irish girl would get is red.”
“You learn something new every day,” I quipped. “I thought everyone got darker in the summer. I turn 10 different shades of brown … makes it a bitch trying to find foundation.”
Life went on.
And then this morning came. I came outside on the deck to get some morning writing done, found my favorite YouTube Video of “The Most Beautiful Movie Soundtracks” and pressed play.
The precursory unsolicited commercial came on (damn you, capitalistic America) and I had a flash back to the conversation I had with my pleasantly pasty colleague – thanks to Neutrogena.
Their bottles of foundation danced on my laptop’s screen as the soft spoken voice sang about how great their product was for the skin. The beautiful model turned her head slightly as the perfect lighting illuminated her blemish-free face. Hell, I was sold. “I need to go buy some of this!” I thought as I prepared to bring up their website. (Damn you again, capitalistic America!)
But when I got there, my hopes and dreams of looking like the model with the perfect complexion vanished as quickly as my fantasy began, because Neutrogena doesn’t carry any foundation darker than the color of Jersey shore sand.
Don’t believe me? Just watch … http://www.neutrogena.com/product/shine+control+liquid+makeup.do?sortby=ourPicks
I thought this was capitalistic America. Damn, Gena! (Yes, I used a reference from Martin.) If the only color that matters is green, don’t you want me to spend my money too?
According to Essence’s 2009 Smart Beauty research study, black women spend $7.5 billion annually on beauty products, while paying 80 percent more on cosmetics and twice as much on skin care products than the general market.
Sounds like a “win-win” to me.
So I kindly clicked off Neutrogena’s page and went about my writing business – hence this blog post.
But I have to admit, it kind of hurt my feelings. There are all kinds of women in this world, from perfectly pasty to beautifully brown, one would think (or in my case, hold out an apparently unrealistic hope) that a company that claims to make beauty products for women in 2015 would recognize that.
There goes my idealistic tendencies rearing their ugly heads again.
But it’s cool Neutrogena. I see how you get down. I’ll just continue to paint my skin with another company’s product. Just don’t come looking for me when you finally decide to enter into “my market” because the giant middle finger I’m giving you right now will stay firmly planted. That’s right, I said it.
Erin T. McMillon, MSM entered into the publishing industry as an advertising copywriter. She has written for numerous magazines and online media outlets in the U.S. and abroad, including an award-winning music magazine.
Her short story, Writer’s Block was featured in the summer 2014 of The Horror Zine. Erin is also the author of The Becoming of Us, Vol. I: Love and The Becoming of Us, Vol. I: Lust and What’s Hiding in the Dark?: 10 Tales of Urban Lore and They Eat: An Episodic Zombie Thriller.
Find her on Facebook at facebook.com/theladywrites82 and on her blog at http://www.theladywrites82.com.