Mass Observation (V): Why do we need so many different types?

by Jarvo J May. 06, 2011 3352 views

There are only four people living in our house, so why do we need three different types of shower gel, surely one will do?

The answer is that each different type fits the (perceived) unique needs of someone or another.

First up there's the Palmolive Naturals. That's Lin's (and by default mine too). To someone with sensitive skin the fact that it claims to be extra sensitive itself is a big draw. It claims on the front that it contains pure milk proteins. Why? Well, milk is a product so gentle that we give it to babies, and proteins are the building blocks of life so it's got to be good hasn't it? Hasn't it? You'll notice that they don't state on the front that one of its principle ingredients is the harsh skin irritant sodium laurel sulphate- that's left for the small print.

What about the Lynx? Well that's Cliff's. Like most other teenagers, two of the most important things in life to him are sexual attraction and peer acceptance. Using the right cleaners and cosmetics will ensure that these two issues are sorted. Showering with Lynx will, as their adverts suggest, make the angels fall out of the sky for you. Of course it's all very jokey really, but the message still sticks: Using the right products makes you sexy, appealing, fun, popular, good looking (add your own adjective here - there'll be a product designed just for it).

And finally what about the Spiderman one? That, as you may have guessed, is Ben's. But it's not really for him. It's actually marketed for nans and aunts and family friends who haven't got a clue what to buy the little darlings for Christmas/Birthdays etc.? Is it good to give a small child shower gel as a Christmas present? Well, if that child is from the sort of poverty stricken background where basic cleaning materials are difficult to come by it's an excellent present. If they are not, it's ok but don't kid yourself it is going to spread any joy. The reason for Spiderman branded toiletries is not because the kids will love them but because uncertain adults can cross another chore off their list.

Ultimately why do we need three gels between four people? Because someone else says we do.

  Be the first to like this post
Join the conversation
There are 9 comments , add yours!
Eiram Marie 9 years, 8 months ago

Only a man could ask such a question, really! Of course we need so many - we decide according to weather, mood, time of the year, hour of the day, good day or bad day which one to use!!

9 years, 8 months ago Edited
Larry Nelson 9 years, 8 months ago

Only three? We would also have had three or four that we bought and didn't like, but didn't have the heart to throw them away! :)

9 years, 8 months ago Edited
Michael Sakowicz 9 years, 8 months ago

Hey! I like the Spider-Man body wash too!

9 years, 8 months ago Edited
Gerd Korts 9 years, 8 months ago

Well Jon you made it, as a self-confident, rebellious German I will return to our [url=]ancestors soap[/url]

9 years, 8 months ago Edited
Sandra Vermeulen 9 years, 8 months ago

Oh Jon, same thing here, five people in the house but : four hair shampoos, three shower soaps, five combs, with meals three different beverages (soda, juice, mineral water) and so on and so on ...
[b]We are so spoiled. [/b]
The excess is too large and we hardly realize it!!

9 years, 8 months ago Edited
Carolinesimone 9 years, 8 months ago

ownership and identity created the brand .... good Jon

9 years, 8 months ago Edited
Manuele 9 years, 8 months ago

Great picture, and interesting commentary

9 years, 8 months ago Edited
Marsha 9 years, 8 months ago

Got quite a series going here with the MOP theme, Jon! I am enjoying! Great soapy shot....and interesting commentary!!

9 years, 8 months ago Edited
Mlane02 9 years, 8 months ago

I've never even thought about having all the different shower gels. Great picture!

9 years, 8 months ago Edited