Thursday, January 26, 2012

Easy, Breezy, Unrecognizable CoverGirl

Have you seen Sofia Vergara’s new ads for CoverGirl? If you haven’t, let me warn you, if I wrote, ‘have you seen the new CoverGirl ads with Debi Mazar,’ you just may have believed me.

For my freshman writing seminar in college, I took a class on race and gender in African-American literature. One of our first assignments was to dissect an advertisement and discuss how the media portrays and/or contributes to stereotypes of minorities (less in an art imitates life, life imitates art way; more in terms of how ads subliminally reinforce stereotypes). I got the only A on the assignment (I was also the student with a Tommy Hilfiger ad).

In People’s Worlds Most Beautiful People 2011, Sofia Vergara said that she dyed her hair from her natural blonde to brunette because "It [blonde hair] didn't match the Hollywood stereotype for a Latina woman." She also says she likes having dark hair, so as I brunette myself and someone who believes in a woman’s right to choose her hair color, I say more power to her.

Sofia's CoverGirl ads, however, inspire surprise and disappointment. Drew, Taylor, Ellen and Queen Latifah seemed to say, ‘black, white, young star known for your purity or not as young star known for being a reformed drug addict and dancing on David Letterman's desk, women are all beautiful and can be CoverGirls.’ So as I grab a latte and flip through February Glamour (which includes a multi-page Revlon spread of Halle Berry, Olivia Wilde and Emma Stone all looking beautiful – and like themselves) I am left to wonder why CoverGirl chose to make Sofia Vergara unrecognizable. See a banner ad of Sofia Vergara for CoverGirl on Ulta’s website.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

If the alarm goes off, I’m going home

I was having a crummy morning. It was my ninth day of interviewing candidates in a row and it was freezing outside. Inside as well, seeing how all I was getting from the $1500 I’d spent on a heating core replacement six weeks ago was cold air filtered through the vents of my car blowing icy cold air at my hands and feet.

I had left an additional fifteen minutes to grab a massive latte on the way to work and as I nearly exceeded that time, I rushed to my car, latte in hand and drove off on my way. As I sat in slower than usual traffic, with clearly no time for turning around, I took a hearty swig of my latte and - Holy Brink Of An Existential Bourgeois Crisis - I was holding a 20 oz cup of steaming hot milk. The ‘hurry up’ energy I was sending the universe had resulted in nothing but a clear absence of espresso in my so-called latte.

I knew I was being a brat in a world where there are real problems, but I called my husband up in near tears. “I’m in my car, I have no heat, it’s cold outside, and I’m sipping a large cup of hot milk, I have no time to turn around or get another, and I just wasted $4. I have no coffee, no heat and my morning routine is ruined…(Aren’t I just a ball of sunshine at 7:30 a.m.?)…I really just want to throw this hot milk on my broken heater and call it a day”

My husband, always being of sound advice, says, “Don’t do that.” Thank for that, honey. In fact, he gets huge brownie points and a potential nomination to Redbook’s Hottest Husband contest for an act of supreme kindness in about two paragraphs. 
Alas, I arrive at work, go to turn off the alarm and after my first go at it, it’s still beeping. If the alarm goes off, triggering the police to arrive, I tell myself, I’m just going home. I’m going home in my cold car with my warm milk and going to bed. (Clearly, I couldn’t do that in actuality but that was my plan should this alarm not turn off.)

On try two, I was able to disarm the building and got to work. About ten minutes before my first interview was due to begin, my husband arrived at my office- warm smile and turbo-charged latte in hand. I grabbed the latte and suddenly my morning and my routine were back in tact – take that Friday the 13th.