Yesterday, while picking up some allergy medicine and cat litter, some toothpaste started telling me how to live my life. It told me to "be dynamic" and "be inspired," which inspired me to dynamically tell that toothpaste to fuck right off.
Toothpaste isn't the only thing overstepping its bounds. Over the last couple years, everything from toothpaste to tampons to cough drops to chocolate has been sold in packaging that carries "inspirational" messages. But why? Do these unsolicited pep talks actually improve the experience the consumer has with the product? What is the purpose of telling a woman to "Keep your eye on the ball" right before she inserts a tampon into her vagina? What does that even mean, tampon? Where is this ball you speak of?
I don't want a tampon to tell me "All you can do is your best," I want that tampon to say "I promise I will keep blood from getting all over your underpants." And I definitely don't want toothpaste to tell me to be adventurous because "adventurous" is the last thing I want to be in regards to my dental hygiene. When it comes to my teeth, I want to be the opposite of adventurous, I want protection and predictability.
It's not just packaging that's doing this, either. Earlier this week Jezebel posted about the new plus-size clothing store that plays pre-recorded compliments over the speakers in the dressing rooms. Do marketing teams think the humans that are buying their goods have such a deflated sense of self-worth that their empty compliments and canned pep talks will actually be taken to heart? Do they think we're all just wandering around the aisles of stores, feeling so utterly hopeless, that we'll trust a piece of chocolate when it promises everything will get better? It's insulting.
Stop telling me how to live, products, because no one asked you. Save the bullshit and just keep my teeth and underwear clean.