Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Do you suffer from inadequate or not enough eyelashes?

I've seen this ad for Latisse a couple of times now, and it always puzzles me.

"Latisse, the first and only FDA-approved prescription treatment for inadequate or not enough eyelashes, growing them longer, fuller, and darker."

First of all, it seems kind of redundant. Isn't "inadequate" just a synonym for "not enough"? What even counts as "adequate" when it comes to eyelashes? Is there some function eyelashes perform of which I'm unaware and for which there's a minimal number required? If adequacy is not about quantity in this case, is it about length or girth? And do eyelashes even have different girths?

Of course, these questions are largely rhetorical. I'm reasonably sure that in this case "adequate" just means "pleasing to the hetero male gaze" or something like that. So here we have another case of the medicalization of a purely aesthetic perceived failure to measure up to the beauty standard. There's actually something medically wrong with you, which can now be fixed, if your lashes are not thick and dark and long enough. Predictably, a little research shows that this is just another case of a pharmaceutical company scrambling for a new application for an existing drug in order to extend the patent and increase their profits. And once again, the target demographic is women, and the method is to problematize a normal physical feature or pathologize normal behavior.

But beyond this problematic pattern, there are other things we can learn from this ad as well:
  1. Latisse empowers you to smile passively and flutter your eyes appropriately while having something mansplained to you;
  2. Latisse empowers you to seductively (I guess?) shimmy your shoulders and thrust out your tits appropriately while a man leads you around the dance floor;
  3. Latisse empowers you to do the special porn-inspired blowing-out-the-birthday-candles move: bend at the waist, thrust your ass out, shake your tits just a little, and purse your lips in that special, special way.

In other words, Latisse will empower you to be everything a woman ought to be.


  1. Anonymous1/20/2010

    Hi Rachel,

    Sorry I haven't been following your marvelous blog as closely as I should. I've been keeping myself away from the Internet to try to get more work done.

    I'm really happy to see you're still going strong. It's really heartening to know that there are people like you out there, doing their best to make the world a little less painful and a little more enlightened, one step at a time.

    --Okra (from

  2. diamondsforhorses1/21/2010

    Mansplained?!? I love it. It's my new word of the week. And seriously, I was afraid for a minute that the woman in the last clip was gonna give that cake a blow job. Jiminy Cricket.

  3. Thanks Okra!

    diamondsforhorses, I believe "Jiminy Cricket" will be my new phrase of the week.

  4. Bailey1/21/2010

    And the side effects sound kind of scary! God this shit is annoying.

  5. Anonymous1/21/2010

    And what does "suffer" even mean here? I think this kind of thing also makes light of real suffering from real medical conditions.