At first I thought it was just me. As a hypnotherapist, I am sensitive to subliminal messages and they tend to pop out at me. Subliminal messages are, after all, my stock and trade. Learning to construct a suggestion so it bypasses the conscious and enters the subconscious like a gooey dessert that will stick to your mind is not easy, but a lot of people make their living doing just that and some of those people are in advertising.
When I worked in advertising the goal was to make the product attractive to the consumer. That evolved to the “must have” doctrine and finally to outright lying about the product. The product became to hook, all we needed to do was convince you to try it or that everyone else was going to have one. That was when it got hard to look in the mirror every morning. I was selling junk drugs as gold and no one needed it.
It seems to have taken a second evolution now that you are hooked on needing it. I mean what kind of a person doesn't trek down to the card store, or at least the rack in the grocery, and pick out a nice paper card to hand the people we interact with and care about? Someone who doesn't care, that's who! Have you ever read the message carefully. In the January issue of Woman's Day, there are some little blurbs about live changing moments. One woman is buying one of those cards for her daughter when she rereads the message in the card. “Reach for the Stars.” Well, that's a good idea for your daughter. “Be all you can be,” sort of sounds like the recruitment for the Marines. “Keep on trying.” This is going downhill. “And one day you'll achieve success.” Whaaaatttt??? Oh, and by-the-way, “Happy Birthday!” That is what we used to call a backhanded compliment. It sounds good but it is a put down. That card didn't make it out of the store and I say good for her. She is on the track to finding all the subtle messages women meet with every day.
Oh, we are all familiar with the screaming “DIET!”, you must be a size 0 and if you don't look like this you aren't desirable. The not at all subtle if you aren't under 40, you really should slit your wrists because if you aren't juggling a poorly paid job so you can buy, buy, buy for your children you are useless slime taking up space younger people should have.
But there are even more subtle ones I noticed as I was looking at the new shades of makeup. It seems we have 2 color combinations now, down from the 4 of when I modeled: cool and warm. That's wrong but I'll explain later. Cool is for fair skinned to light medium skinned women and the colors are named Rapture and a whole host of Biblical references. Warm is for dark medium to dark skinned women and has such names as Lust, Hot and a host of sinful references. Are you getting the message yet?
First let me break down something in color for you. There is the color and then there is the base of the color. Cool colors can have a cool or a warm base just as “warm” colors can have a cool or warm base. There are really 4 basic skin colors and a lot more variations. Cool bases are blues, lavenders and purples. Warm bases are peach, orange and yellow. From there you overlay the primary colors and create the shades and blends.
But now, you have fair skinned 'going to Heaven', chaste women and their darker, I mean warmer because we can't say what is well implied: darker, counterparts that are hot, sexy sinners headed straight to Hell. Oh yes, some of the colors are direct references to Hell in warm category like Sinful Coral. What is sinful about coral?
Is this a coincidence? Oh yes, just like the message in the card for little girls is a coincidence. Mothers, as your day approaches be very, very careful of the double meaning in the gifts, cards and even the nail polish you buy.