Annals of Commodification: Hair Dye

bruce jenner Apparently, “there is no visible gray hair on the heads of any of the 16 female United States senators, ages 46 to 74.”

Meanwhile, plastic surgery, on which privileged people around the world now spend over $30 billion a year, has been expanding by 25% annually.

To my eye, these trends denote several things, including: anti-feminism; a childish (and heavily sponsored) denial of aging; comically bad aesthetics; and, in a supposedly “Christian” nation-state, a profound solipsistic insensitivity to the distribution of world income and wealth.

But the hair coloring craze is not all pull. It’s also a product of the power of corporate capitalism’s marketing juggernaut, which leaves no stone unturned in its drive to commercialize and commodify every possible aspect of human life.  Gray hair?  That’s just another major business opportunity.

The success of the overclass push — despite its venality, its ecological costs, and its moral status in a world where half the people live on less than $2.50 a day and 80 percent less than $10 a day — to sell people (often toxic) patently insipid age-denial goods can be inferred from insider research reports such as this:

Despite the economic downturn, the personal care industry remains an attractive market for suppliers of performance ingredients aimed at delivering the results consumers demand from hair and skin products. The market is ripe for savvy suppliers who can find the right niche and the right buyers for their innovative products to capitalize on the demand for anti-aging, anti-wrinkle, and other products.

madonna face Thus does our hagged-out empire stumble on, hoping that putting wigs on cadavers will somehow dispel the rapidly worsening facts.

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