The difference between optimism and pessimism is merely the way you look at things. Whether you see the glass as half empty or half full. Naturally, my glass is always half empty and there seems to be a desperate struggle going on most days to top it up a bit.
There is, however, an area of one’s life which brings such inexplicable optimism you feel it simply oozing out of your pores. That magical and hope-inspiring moment in which you buy a new shampoo. Those few moments when you actually feel … ethereal.
There is a horrible truth which we highly intelligent and educated women just can’t seem to get a grip of. A gruesome but nevertheless honest fact – hair is dead. It’s clinically dead the moment it emerges from your scalp. Fact number two – you can’t DO anything with dead. Except for washing the grease out. Why then, do we imagine a shampoo we have taken out a mortgage to afford, will make it thicker, bouncier, healthier, whatever? It’s because, where matters of vanity are concerned, we are terminally stupid. Because we think, in our addled little brains and if we don’t look in mirrors too often, we too can resemble the woman on the telly with the thick, bouncing, healthy, whatever. Rubbish. She has a wind machine and a wig. She has a soundtrack. She also has a team of people who have just spent 12 hours under hot lights doing the impossible with dead. She’s filmed in slow motion. I don’t need to be filmed in slow motion – it’s my natural state. While I’m doing it however, my hair is just hanging there. What it is NOT doing, is gently caressing the tips of tree branches as I go wafting through Central Park in a kaftan. You do not get waft out of a bottle. Just soap.
Sure, hair feels better when it’s clean. That goes without saying. It’s just debatable whether $1 or $20 will do a better embalming job. Whether it will make you feel, psychologically, as if you waft and don’t have cellulite anymore.
Then there are the products endorsed by superstars. If a 200kg truckie uses it, he’ll step out of his rig looking like Elle MacPherson. I’d like to endorse one called ‘Bushpig’ which makes you look and feel like a middle-aged woman with a serious chocolate addiction, whose bum is too close to the ground.
Personally, I just buy the stuff for the packaging. I really like those ones where the shampoo is transparent and there are those little botanical plants and things printed on the inside of the bottle. It’s extremely aesthetically pleasing – while it’s in the bottle. It’s the closes thing to sucking me in enough to feel remotely as if I might waft. And as I’ve mentioned before, I won’t buy anything packaged in orange.
There isn’t much hype around men’s shampoo. They don’t have KRudd coming on telly to entice men into washing their hair with something that will make them feel jumped up and important and capable of running the country. He doesn’t need to – men feel like that anyway. They have enough confidence to just reach for whatever the little woman has put on the bathroom shelf – and it’s a sad fact of life they generally come out looking full of bounce and waft anyway, without even caring. Their mates don’t ask them what product they use, or titter behind their backs about their roots showing through. For men, hair is effortless. As is should be, bearing in mind it’s dead.
The rest of us ought to wake up to ourselves. The only soundtrack real life has is the sound of advertisements nagging at you. The only wind machine you’re likely to come into contact with is probably your husband. And let’s face it, you’re never going to waft again.
Just keep hanging’ in there for next week’s telly commercial when that brand new product will promise you’ll look like you’ve been filmed through a soft focus lens.
It won’t happen overnight. Nah, face it – it just won’t happen.