Who's profiting off of your insecurities?


Did you know that the idea that we needed to cover gray hair came from an advertising campaign from Clairol in the 1960s?


Before then women didn't really dye gray hair. Part of this was because hair dye wasn't as easy as today. Part was the stigma around dyeing hair in general. And part of this was because women didn't believe they needed to dye their gray hair. Going gray wasn't a big thing like it is now.

But in the 1960s Clairol started asking women, through advertisements, when the last time their husband had brought them flowers or asked them out on a date? Then not so subtly implied it stopped happening once they went gray - but that's okay because you can just "rinse away the gray." How convenient.

When interviewed about this campaign later the creator of the ad, a woman, said that she knew they needed to expand the market beyond the women who already hated their gray hair by "reawakening whatever dissatisfactions" women had when they first started to notice they were going gray.

In other words, they knew they could make women insecure about their grays if they connected them to unmet desires or needs. But the connection isn't real. And fixing the gray didn't actual fix their dissatisfactions.

So, when I say that someone is profiting off of your insecurities - I mean it. And this still happens today.

Next time you're feeling insecure about something, ask yourself who is profiting off that insecurity. It's likely someone is.

Jessica Jo Fisher