Do 25-year-olds need anti-aging creams?
(No. 75) Plus, how to comfort a friend, the happy man who lives on cruise ships, and some anger and agitation, by Stephen P. Williams
Screw the age haters
Just sayin I’m feeling intolerant of ageism.
How to help a struggling friend
Reading this thorough, calm article in Psyche about comforting someone who is having a tough time, I was struck by how its suggestions could apply to almost every human interaction on earth. The suggestion to give emotional support first, and cognitive support second, is something I’ve struggled with my whole life. Several women I’ve been involved with over the eons have repeatedly brought this up. Therapists. Relatives. I’m trying! But to this day my three daughters often ask me to listen and affirm, rather than offer a critique or a solution. And you know what? When I follow this simple rule, everything is much easier. Less stress for me. Less irritation for them. No need for codependency books. But I always forget. How about you?
Save the children?
It’s fitting that a company named Oddity would launch a brand called SpoiledChild, designed to market anti-aging potions to 25-year-olds. Good to lock in customers’ loyalty when their brains have barely developed, and decades before they deteriorate with Alzheimers and finally stop shopping for crap. The official marketing term is “maximum exploitation.”
SpoiledChild “provides” hair and skin potions in Instagram-hued capsules for $45 to $95. The company says consumers don’t know what they need to buy to slow the aging process. (I reply that if they don’t know, there really isn’t a need.)
That’s why the company developed an AI algorithm named SpoiledBrain to help formulate the products. SpoiledBrain is also designed to help you, the clueless customer, select the potions that will please you most. Answer a few of The Brain’s questions, and this same AI will suggest essential products to solve your skin and hair problems. Oh, and don’t worry that you’re just buying junk that will harm the environment — LOL — because you can send the container back to be refilled.
SpoiledChild is blanketing some markets, such as NYC, with subway ads and billboards with slogans such as: “Getting old is getting old” and “Stay immature.” These slogans are for “Intelligent skin & hair products that refuse to take aging seriously.” Seriously? Sure, young people are getting old. But so is this advertising campaign, and after just a few weeks.
In her excellent newsletter, The Unpublishable, Jessica DeFino lays it all out: “The fact that younger consumers are interested in anti-aging does not mean they need anti-aging products. It means we need to address the fucking hellhole of fear and self-hatred that is Western beauty culture.”
We should all barf, as Jessica says she did, at the thought of this brand. I asked The Brain what kind of products I needed. My new AI friend instantly recommended $445 worth of products like anti-aging collagen burst system and reverse time duo moisturizers. (Great names for space-rock bands.) To SpoiledChild’s credit (or rather, thanks to smart marketing) they’ll send your first purchase free, for you to try out. But I’m never buying this stuff, for free, or not.
Will they try to sell us new cells?
The richest guys in America (yes, most are men) spend a lot of time and money figuring out ways to live forever. These technocrats have been known to infuse their bodies with the blood of children, fast three days a week and eat all the avocado but none of the the toast.
A few of them, like Bezos and Musk believe space will save us from our current environmental death thrall. They use their time on earth to consume massive amounts of resources while they plan their trips to Mars and other planets where they’ll be able to escape all the hell we are inflicting on planet earth. Well, good luck to that, space cowboys. A new report by the Mayo Clinic suggests that traveling to Mars will actually enhance cellular aging. In other words, you will age faster on the Mars shuttle. These scientists aren’t even sure a person could live through the trip.
Solid advice from an eight-year-old
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The happiest man in the world
This short film (below) about a retired guy named Mario who smiles and isolates on an endless cruise offers utopia and the depths of humanity in one 10 minute package. Enjoy.