Who hasn’t noticed the deliberate down-sizing of processed foods in packages, and the presentation of “new” packaging to make us think we’re getting as much product for the same amount of money? I wonder if all the advertizing dollars spent trying to persuade the public that they’re getting “the best deal” is, in fact, increasing company profit-margins.
Along similar lines, after an uncustomary trip to a hair salon, as part of a birthday gift to me, I wondered about the effects of trying to re-invent our selves through outward appearances. We hope not only to feel better about ourselves, but to present a new package to onlookers, hoping our capabilities to accomplish a task or represent a cause will be more believable because of what is seen.
I am not going to be the judge of investments of time and resources here, but I feel compelled, as do most writers, to share a few observations in this journey of “Re-Inventing the Package” from a personal perspective.
After years of trying to affordably change my middle-aged appearance with various shades of boxed blonde, brunette, and auburn hair colors, it took a long drive out of state with my mother to arrive at one of her favorite refresh and reboot stations. We were only a day away from making a public appearance at my youngest son’s college graduation, and, personally, I was hoping for some sort of transformation to detract from the little bird feet impressions unmistakably running circles around my eyes. (I’d already decided there’s nothing less appealing than aging women trying to be exciting young blondes, when it’s obvious there are greater issues at hand that need tweaking, so another attempt at a quick box-fix was not an option.) I’d felt for several months like an historic “Age of Aquarius” mom, whose un-airbrushed face told a truth many moons of cosmetic applications had not transformed.
So, indulging a lingering hope for hair-help, I followed my mom around the corner to “Hair’ez Beach Salon, a block off the Atlantic coast of Satellite Beach, Florida. Greeted with a “come and let us make it all better” smile, Kathy, the owner, welcomed us into her reproduction of a beach side cove. Fishing nets draped across the tops of the store-front windows with bamboo-canes bound together trimming out the openings of this safe haven for make-overs. A tropical breeze seemed to follow us as we were welcomed to chairs in the midst of a mosaic of mirrors arranged like waves, and whimsical, over-sized tropical fish floating on the walls, flashing their brilliant colors from metallic scales. We were asked: Would you like something to drink…..?” —me thinking coffee, tea, bottled water—and then the tiki-bar spirit spoke aloud: “….beer or wine?” Funny ladies, I thought. But it turned out the offer was no joke. It WAS only 10 o’clock in the morning!
Three hours later, my request for a whispier facial frame with more natural hair color, produced by “low-lights” over blonde damages, became visible as the blow-dry effect gave wings to a new persona. True, it wasn’t a blonde-bombshell moment, but it was real, believable, and, more importantly, a very small step in a journey of transformation that left me feeling better about myself. And, I will admit, the small glass of light-beer and friendly banter of stylists fussing over their clients didn’t hurt either!
Now that the color of the package has been determined, it’s time to down-size the package itself…..another day, another resolve…..another blog. In the mean-time, my thanks go out to a generous mom and skilled salon attendants who have helped launch a mini-revival of one “More than Middle-Aged Mom”.