A Day I My Life – TV Commercials that Drive Me Crazy Edition – January 12, 2023

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In my never-ending quest to stay away from politicizing my blog today (which isn’t easy), I’m going to complain about something that’s driving me crazy: TV commercials that:

–feature thirty-somethings complaining about “crow’s feet” around their eyes, and, therefore, they need Botox injections
–push pharmaceuticals that have so many side effects that, when the fine print lists them, no one could possibly read all of them
–describe the never-ending benefits of attorneys who will sue on behalf of narrowly-defined lawsuits (e.g., mesothelioma, cancer caused by chemical fertilizer, etc.)
–tell me how much weight I can lose if only I buy their pills, their little accessories, their exercise program, their diet., etc.

First, the young people who “need” Botox: I just saw this young fitness instructor named Javi who said he had to have Botox because the lines around his eyes just made him look so old! He’s not even thirty! The camera hones in on the “before” Botox and “after” Botox photo around his eyes. Now, I recognize that I have seventy-four-year-old eyes, but I cannot even tell the difference! Javi adjusts his shirt, mugs for the camera, shows his muscular body, and his line-free face. He would inject his face with onabotulinumtoxin A (that is, cosmetic Botox) at the age of thirty with potential side effects of swallowing, speaking, or breathing problems, and swallowing problems may last for several months?

Second, pharmaceutical ads: When I was young, I don’t even remember seeing these on TV. Now, they’re everywhere, and they’re even quite creative. Madison Avenue ad companies must love the revenue they make from creating these advertisements. But they have to hire a person who can talk impossibly fast (or, here’s a thought from someone who does broadcasting: someone who speaks normally but can be digitally sped up thought the magic of computers) to list the side effects. Ever listen to them? I’m not willing to take those risks.

Third, narrow lawsuits: My father died as the result of being exposed to chemical fertilizers. He had prostate cancer. My sister died from leukemia, also from being exposed to the same thing. So when these attorneys started going after a segment of the chemical fertilizer industry over a large government settlement, my family contacted them. We weren’t eligible because “those cancers” weren’t covered. You’d never know that from the ads. I’m sure some other people who saw those ads weren’t eligible, either.

Finally, miracle weight-loss cures: I have been fighting obesity for nearly all my seventy-four years on this earth. Here’s a bulletin: It’s not as easy as. they say on TV! It never will be. I applaud the people whose stories are told on these ads (are you listening, Marie Osmond?), but when it comes down to the real nitty-gritty, it’s hard work, day by day, to lose weight and keep it off.

Well, there’s today’s rant, as I keep from expounding on politics. I would get into even more trouble if I went down that road…

Wanda Fischer
Schenectady, New York
January 12, 2023

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