Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Develop Me Useful

Photo Art by Aaron Weintrob

Dear Allergan Higher-ups and Research and Development Team:

Greetings from the po-dunk town of Easton, Massachusetts. I know your corporation and offices operate in buildings large enough to house the population of my town in the lobby, and that I, Rachel Vidoni, am but a veritable grain of sand in the corporate workings of your white sand beach. Nonetheless, I have a few things I’d like to discuss with you.

It has come to my attention (after doing some deep research on eyelashes) that your company is responsible for manufacturing the following products:
• Latisse
• Botox
• Juviderm
• Gastrointestinal Lap-bands

Sure, sure, you make and develop other products not intended to make women feel bad about themselves, but chipping away at women with low self-image—or at least making women question their beauty—seems to be your largest target market and purpose. I find it detestable that you (from hereon Allergan will be referred to as the collective “you”) can take small issues like eyebrows, forehead wrinkles, laugh lines (so much nicer than crow’s feet) and the like, and develop products designed to make women feel these issues are something to worry about.

In understand that living in California where your R&D facility is located, gives one the impression that looks and image are everything, especially being so close to the Housewives of Orange County and the zip code 90210. Your location can skew reality, not unlike people who live in Death Valley thinking the ozone layer has disappeared entirely, or people in Boston thinking everyone’s life in the U.S. revolves around sporting events. I am here to tell you that the majority of your products have set the feminist movement back so far it’s like starting all over again.

I’m curious if all the people in your R&D sector are male? I find it interesting that none of the products mentioned above are targeted towards men. Where’s the product that makes men more sensitive to birthdays and anniversaries? What can men use to make them more appealing in a Speedo? Why aren’t any men used in your advertisements for Botox and Latisse? Are you implying it’s okay for men to have wrinkles and puny eyelashes, but us women must be frozen faced and doe-eyed? Are all of your female employees and the wives of the men Barbie knock-off’s with firm, tanned skin, and air brushed faces? Are employees required to use your products and act as “testimonials” like when you work in Ann Taylor and have to wear their clothes? Do you not hire “ugly” women because they would make your brand look bad?

While you may live in the land of Stepford Wives, I (and millions like me) do not. I prefer to stave off wrinkles and fat the old-fashioned way, by eating less and moving more. I know it’s not a particularly exciting marketing concept but it seems to work for me. I also think that garden grown veggies, a good beer, and unpolluted air (though in California you may not know what this is) goes a long way towards making me appear relaxed and youthful. Call me a backwoods, earth-loving, tree hugger if you will.

I do have some suggestions for you however, to reap your share of the untapped markets of women like myself—normal women who struggle with (not wrinkles and sparse eyelashes) but kids, schedules, work, family, sports, appointments, and errands. I’d really like for you to consider developing some way for me to grow more arms. I know this idea is a little rogue, but your company motto is "Our Pursuit. Life's Potential." It’s also the out of the box thinking that R&D departments thrive on. It may take awhile for the concept to take off, but your Allergan for heaven’s sake. You hired Brook Shields. She can’t be cheap.

With all the technology out there—our ability to clone animals and grow body parts in petri dishes, you’d think you could plant a mole in some company with "Gen" or "Bio" in the name and get the secret recipe for arm growth. You know that I know that you know that this kind of corporate sabotage goes on every minute, so don’t act like you’re above scooping your competitor. I’m thinking it would be easiest for you to grow the arms in a laboratory somewhere and then hire Dr. 90210 (you know, the guy who fondles women for a living in front of  TV cameras and doesn’t go to jail) to sew them on. The benefits of this product are many:

• Would liberate women everywhere, instead of suppressing them via negative mirrors
• Could be marketed for women and men, unlike your current “beauty” products
• Would create a totally new market for the contestants on “Project Runway” as they design tops, outfits, and formal wear for people with four or more arms
• Would create a new definition for the word “multitasking”
• Could potentially eliminate the 40 hour work week, as people would be twice as productive
• Would eliminate the need for many trips out to the car to carry in groceries
• Would allow people like the Duggars and Octomom to have even more children because now they would have eight hands to hold bottles and wipe noses

I could keep going, but I think you understand the message. You’re focusing on the tree bark Allergan. I’m telling you to focus on the forest. I hope you’ll take my suggestion into consideration and run it by your R&D team at the next meeting-of-the-perfect-faces. Until then I won’t be using any of your products. I’ll take my chances with puny eyelashes and wrinkles, because dammit, I’m beautiful and people like me. Even if I could use more arms.

Most Sincerely,

Rachel Vidoni
A mom that has her original face


J D W said...

I know it's all tongue and cheek but there's real passion behind the humor.
I'd to give you some peace of mind. I work in a neuroscience lab and our neurologists use that very same Allergan Botox to instead treat severe spastic disorders. Not only does it make wrinkles disappear but when injected directly into the muscle it allows the tense muscles to relax for months at a time (until the next treatment). It's a godsend for people stuck in a post-stroke painfully spastic body. Proctologists even use it to relax a spastic snickering :)
At any rate, there is a good side to Botox.

(in case you don't recognize my name, I'm Mike Stone's stepson)

Rachel said...

Jared! Welcome to the blog! I love your comment! Your point is well taken--I'm sure there are many people who do use these products and they really are life saving; I'm thinking the lap band issue as a big one--and a few Latisse customers are undergoing Chemo and lost their I have some sensativity for that too. It's just unfortunate that the majority of people who use these products are motivated by vanity, not health or comfort. THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR POSTING!! BTW- I thought you were a freelance photographer?? You have a day job too? :)

J D W said...

Freelance, as in I do it and get very (very) little money for it. (for now)

Aaron said...

I think Allegran could have used Bill Veeck....dont know if you heard of him.

Bill Veeck, was a baseball owner, and had a legendary creative mind. When he lost his leg in World War II he decided his replacement leg should be more useful than just make him look normal....he had an ashtray built in to it!

I have always wondered when i see people with body piercings if there could be a more productive outcome than a coat hook