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The collected opinions of an august and aristocratic personage who, despite her body having succumbed to the ravages of time, yet retains the keen intellect, mordant wit and utter want of tact for which she was so universally lauded in her younger days. Being of a generation unequal to the mysterious demands of the computing device, Lady Bracknell relies on the good offices of her Editor for assistance with the technological aspects of her journal.

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Location: Bracknell Towers

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Because you're worth it

Whilst watching her televisual device earlier this afternoon - the weather being far too warm for her to consider any more strenuous activities - Lady Bracknell was jerked from her recumbent posture by an advertisement for men's "grooming" products from L'Oreal.

The advertisment begins with a patronising, pseudo-scientific voice-over which attempts to browbeat men into the conviction that what they consider to be attractive "expression lines", women view with horror and disgust as "ugly wrinkles".

Rather unsurprisingly, L'Oreal counters across the developed world are packed to bursting with products which they claim will rid their male customers of these troubling disfigurements.

There is so much scope for vituperative outpourings here that Lady Bracknell is at something of a loss as to quite where to begin. But one must start somewhere.

Firstly, Lady Bracknell objects in the strongest possible terms to being portrayed as considering lines (on the face of a person of either gender) to be "ugly wrinkles". It matters not a fig to her ladyship how many advertising campaigns and magazine articles trumpet the superiority of a youthful appearance: she is not now, and never will be, persuaded. As with the desirability of hot weather, this is a matter of opinion, not of fact. To endeavour to present opinion as incontrovertible scientific fact is neither big nor clever, and advertisers will have to get up a lot earlier in the morning than they do currently if they are to have any hope of hoodwinking elderly, aristocratic ladies who pride themselves on having reached their own independent conclusions on such matters based on a combination of observation and rational thinking.

It has long been Lady Bracknell's belief that a youthful face is somewhat akin to a porcelain mask, in that, in repose, it gives away very little of the character of its owner. Once lines have started to form (and this is, after all, an entirely natural concomitant of the ageing process), the individual's character and temperament become delineated for all to see. In persons of a sour and embittered frame of mind, it is true that these lines are unlikely to have an attractive appearance. But they are merely the visible reflection of the person behind the face: they are not themselves at fault.

There is, in Lady Bracknell's personal opinion, no single physical feature which has more sex appeal than laughter lines. The deeper those lines are, the better she will be pleased. The very idea that anyone (again, of either gender) would deliberately attempt to disguise or obliterate such lines is beyond Lady Bracknell's comprehension.

Secondly, one of the products featured in the L'Oreal advertisement is called "Anti-Expression Cream". Surely Lady Bracknell cannot be the only person who is horrified at the suggestion that facial expressions ought to be eradicated in what is very probably, in any event, an entirely futile attempt to prolong a semblance of youth? Our faces are intended to be mobile. That is why they are underpinned with such complex musculature. And that is also why the rigid forehead of the botox victim looks so unnatural: we expect people's eyebrows to move. (Lady Bracknell has for many years wished that she had the ability to raise one sardonic eyebrow: unfortunately, she appears not to have been gifted with the appropriate gene. She can, however, curl her lip in disdain. Which accomplishment, she supposes, is not to be sneered at.)

How would Lady Bracknell advise men to increase their attractiveness to women?

Well, in the first place, she considers happiness in one's own skin to be of greater importance than any attempts to artificially increase one's attractiveness quotient to the opposite sex. But, assuming that the gentleman in question is happy in himself (and taking as a given the assumption that he has mastered the basics of personal hygiene), he would do far better, in Lady Bracknell's estimation, to work on his integrity, compassion and unselfishness than to stand in front of his mirror every morning rubbing over-priced emollients of dubious provenance into his face in an attempt to appear young.

Unless, of course, he is a man of middle years who is attempting to ingratiate himself with nubile but vapid young women who are only interested in his money. In which case, he is a) the architect of his own demise; b) an object of ridicule; and, c) beyond help.

13 Comments:

Blogger The Gorse Fox said...

The Gorse Fox is, again, in awe of her Ladyship's wisdom.

He has long been of the belief that God is the best judge of beauty, and whilst the Gorse Fox makes an effort to dress well and keep his hair clean and tidy, he does not hold with the current infatuation with chemical toxins being added to the skin, nor surgical procedures to change the visual appearance of a normal physique.(The Gorse Fox has no problem with surgical procedure to help people who may be disfigured in some fashion).

The Silver Vixen is still the most gorgeous human being on the planet. Why? Becuase she radiates goodness and humour from every pore of her being. That is real beauty.

5:16 pm  
Blogger MissPrism said...

*applause*

*shouting of Bravo!*

*throwing of roses*

*shreiks and whistles*

*crowd surfing in the Bracknell mosh pit*

5:30 pm  
Blogger The Goldfish said...

Love the idea of Anti-expression Cream - what evil genius! Fantastic product for politicians; not only does it presumably stop media speculation that these chaps are "past it", but it would make all that lying they do unreadable.

There's still the eye movement, of course, which can give a lot away, but even so.

It is odd the beauty industry extending to men. You'd think that we'd all be coming to our sense by now but instead it gets bigger and bigger and bigger.

I am rather disturbed by the concept of the Bracknell mosh pit.

8:05 pm  
Blogger Sally's Life said...

Lady Bracknell, your wisdom and wit never cease to delight.

The only product that I ever desired to work was 'vanishing cream' ... remember that ?
Harry Potter had the right idea.

What is a 'mosh pit' ?

8:39 pm  
Blogger pete said...

'than to stand in front of his mirror every morning rubbing over-priced emollients of dubious provenance into his face in an attempt to appear young.'

I would rather have an oil portrait myself;-)

The artist is the creator of beautiful things. To reveal art and conceal the artist is art's aim.
Oscar Fingal O'Flahertie Wills Wilde

9:50 pm  
Blogger Lady Bracknell said...

Thank you, Pete. Lady Bracknell was waiting for someone to bring up Dorian and his portrait. :-)

10:21 pm  
Blogger Katja said...

Really? Is Loreal really selling a product called "Anti-Expression Cream"? (I tried to search for it on their website, but they have one of those attractive, flash-bloated, utterly unusable websites).

6:00 am  
Blogger marmiteboy said...

I was only expressing my displeasure to Lily at this advertisement at the weekend. Maybe the worlds women have realised what a load of old tosh this stuff is and sales have dropped off, so the companies have had to do the hard sell to a demographic even more gullible. Men. We'll buy anything if it means we may be successful with the opposite sex (or the same sex.

I agree with missprism. Mosh pits all round. A mosh pits are a thing of beauty when executed correctly.

7:02 am  
Blogger pete said...

Because you're worth it. Yes you are;-)

1:55 pm  
Blogger Robert Robus said...

Had I a corrugated visage, I, Robert Robus, would consider myself fortunate, as it would rid my presence of the buxom, shallow young women who currently swarm yours truly.

11:44 pm  
Blogger Marcelle Proust said...

Mlle Proust regrets her late arrival at this gathering, and asks herself whether it would be possible to inject Botox on one side of the forehead only, so that the other eyebrow could raise itself sardonically. How badly does Lady Bracknell wish to raise a single eyebrow?

5:12 am  
Blogger kimananda said...

Actually, one may train one's eyebrow to acheive the sardonic look...just decide which eyebrow you would like to raise, and practice raising that eyebrow alone while holding the other eyebrow in place. After a short while, you'll have the feel of it, and will be able to raise that one eyebrow whenever you'd like without any extra effort. It's really quite easy.

9:31 am  
Blogger Spc. Freeman said...

It has been said that I am a cad, but even cads can be swayed by wit. Utterly brilliant.

9:36 am  

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