The Goods / March 29, 2017
You can just feel the good vibes emanating from these kids. Their smiles made us smile, and that’s a good thing.
You see, smiling is good for you.
Why? Because neurotransmitters (ooooo, big word) in your brain called endorphins are released when you smile genuinely. Endorphins make us feel happy, and naturally lower stress levels. Endorphins are cool. Just like you.
This week we’re weaving a thread between magazines, human biology and rebel scrubs.
We all know how much TV commercials kill the vibe.
They’re too loud. Fast-talking. And, generally, trying too hard to sell us crap we don’t need. (Plus, they always appear right when the good guy is about to catch the bad guy. So not fair!)
What’s worse is how most TV advertising indirectly reminds us that we’re not good enough. Like this infomercial legend telling us to “stop having a boring life.” Oh Vince.
According to a 2014 report on advertising published by a big consumer data company (Nielsen), approximately 15 minutes out of every TV hour are commercials. That’s 25% of your free time dedicated to commercials.
Now you might tell us, “Oh I don’t watch TV, I got Netflix, so I don’t see ads.”
True. Very true. This is a good thing. Bad thing is…
Ads are everywhere else
On the internets (like Twitter and Facebook.) On the radio. Heck, we’re bombarded with ads at every turn.
More than anything though, commercial ads are especially prominent in the product catalogues we all are familiar with. And by product catalogues, we mean magazines.
Sorry folks, but we’ve been duped.
The glossy pages that fill newsstands everywhere are just another version of the TV commercials telling us our lives aren’t good enough.
Just when we thought that losing 25% of the average television hour was bad, we found this awesome video [it’s the secret good link of the week]. In it, two very popular women’s fashion magazines have all their adverts ripped out.
The results (pictured above) were that between 65–85% of those two ‘beauty’ magazines were made of ads. Now that’s a lot of ads. And not a lot of content. (We can’t speak of the quality of the content, but you get the picture, wink.)
Okay so what?
We’re bringing this to your attention because, like the infomercials we see on TV, the message advertisers are working hard to convey is simple: your life sucks; you can make it better by buying this [replace with any product].
And their attempt at providing you with solutions is straight up cheesy and manipulative.
If only you had that faster car. If only you had that pretty new Spring dress. If only you smelled like those 6-pack abs. Only then, would your life be better.
Let’s be honest. Magazine adverts are visual reminders of how the grass appears to be so much greener on the other side. They’re a (bad) reminder of how you can better your life — by spending money on stuff you don’t really need.
Obviously, it’s all a sham (wow). As we mentioned last week, shiny, new products won’t fundamentally make you any happier, nor your life any better.
So enough is enough. Recycle those magazines. You’ll feel better ;)
The even bigger story here is that we want to remind you all that your life doesn’t suck. Also, quick reminder, you’re all smarter than you think.
No matter where you are in your life — financially, romantically, healthy-ly (is that a word?) — you’ll always be able to compare yourselves to the situation of others. And that’s exactly what advertisers want you to do.
Unsurprisingly, the worst ad offenders are those found in the major women’s fashion magazines. (We perused some popular men’s mags and they had a lower ratio of content to ads when compared to their female-oriented counterparts.)
Most advertising in the lady mags are flat out lame. Glitzy images of models (not smiling, booo!) striking silly poses trying so hard to sell an “escape” from reality.
We did some research comparing the stats of models to real world women, and we found that the models in beauty mags are younger (early twenties), skinnier (weighing ~20% less than the average woman), and taller (roughly 6” / 15 cm) than the majority of average readers. No surprise here.
In addition to these physical differences, we’d also bet that the vast majority of the female readership of these beauty magazines are focused on studying, kickstarting their careers or raising a family. Meanwhile, the majority of the ads in these types of magazines reflect a lifestyle that is a far cry from these realities.
Let’s not even get on the topic of how most ads are for luxury products that are not really within (financial) reach of the majority of those readers.
Our message is simple: don’t be fooled. Advertisers are paid lots of money to brainwash us all by unconsciously lowering our self-esteem. We’re all smarter than this.
Let them play their game. And next time you’re wondering which magazine to pick up, maybe consider picking up a classic book instead. They’re classics for a reason.
Final note: ladies and gentlemen, you’re beautiful the way you are. Trust us, nothing is sexier than being who you are, and owning it 💥👀
Ah yes. The Old Spice guy from a few years back. The male equivalent of female fashion magazine ads.
As a commercial, it was hilarious at the time. A dreamy, ripped actor, eloquently speaking as he woos and dazzles the audience with his amazing-ness. His message was clear, you can smell better.
It’s a great example of how advertisers try to convince us that we can be a “better” version of ourselves, if only we bought their products…
Alas, if only they sold good products. Allow us to explain.
Intro to Human Biology
Before we get into how antiperspirants and deodorants work, a little intro to the human body.
Lesson one: We all need to perspire (aka sweat.) It’s a fundamental physiological phenomenon that allows our bodies to cool down, and to cleanse our body of toxins.
Lesson two: In addition to a fraction of a fraction of minerals and organic matter, sweat is almost entirely water. Also, sweat doesn’t smell. Repeat, sweat doesn’t smell.
Lesson three: The smelly part about sweat is actually the bacteria all over your body reacting with your perspiration. (We’ll link out to how to detox your underarms below.)
Alright, class dismissed!
Jokes. Back to those troublemakers: antiperspirants and deodorants.
The objective of antiperspirants is to stop us from perspiring by sealing the pores located under our arms and by blocking our sweat glands. How exactly? Most conventional antiperspirants use a form of aluminium (ex: aluminium chlorydrate, aluminium zirconium) to block sweat. Sounds fantastic, right?
The hygienic thinking behind “staying dry” is misleading, and possibly quite dangerous.
Over the last few years, there has been much debate around the suggestion that ingredients in antiperspirants (such as aluminium) are absorbed by the human body and, consequently, have been linked to an increase in the likelihood of developing Alzheimer’s disease and breast cancer.
Cancer institutes quite openly deny any link between antiperspirants and cancer — usually citing old studies. This recent study from the University of Geneva this past Fall 2016, however, seems to indicate otherwise. Their findings conclude that certain concentrations of aluminium in the human body can encourage the growth and spread of tumors in the mammary cells of the breast. So ya, aluminium salts may very well be carcinogenic. Hmmmm…
Let’s be clear here. We’re not about to claim that we just debunked an entire industry myth. It’s a real he-said, she-said topic and the waters of the internet on these subjects are too muddy to know what’s really up.
We read so much in search of the truth behind the products we apply to our underarms daily that our conclusion (for now) is best summarized by the editor-in-chief of the Journal of Applied Toxicology, Dr. Philip Harvey, a 30-year vet in the regulatory toxicology space: “absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.” 🎤👋
So where does this leave us?
Get informed and use your judgment. Sweating is as natural as breathing is. It’s absurd to think we can prevent it.
Or just wear black.
You may not be aware, but tomorrow, March 30th, marks national Doctor’s Day in the US and most of Canada.
We all know. Trips to the doctor’s office aren’t that much fun. The build up to these trips usually induces feelings of uneasiness, stress, and anxiety.
So we thought we’d highlight the story of an exceptional doctor who is making sure she can improve the experience for all patients.
This Doc rocks.
So, what makes Dr. Laura Esserman so special? What doesn’t make her special is a better question.
Dr. Esserman (we’ll call her Dr. Laura), is based in San Francisco, California. She is the Director of the Carol Franc Buck Breast Care Center and is a breast cancer surgeon at the University of California. She’s also a badass who has been challenging the medical establishment most of her career.
For instance, when was the last time your Doctor sang to you as you went under the knife? Probs never. Well Dr. Laura sings her patients to “sleep” as they undergo anaesthetic administration. She even takes requests if she gets enough heads up. We’d recommend an acapella of SHM’s “Don’t You Worry Child.” (Jokes aside, she’s been signing to her patients for over 20 years. Legit.)
Another example of her humanness: Dr. Laura opts for whatever time is necessary for her patients — even if it means spending over an hour with a patient, ending her day at 10 pmor texting her patients throughout the night to be sure she answers all their concerns.
Why does she go so to such lengths?
Because (quick reminder) her patients are usually dealing with one of the most serious illnesses — breast cancer. Words that are very scary to many people.
In addition to these amazing extra human touches, she is really pushing the envelope. Sometimes even controversially.
In a nutshell, this NY Times article best summarizes what makes her approach amazing: she is one of the “most vocal proponents of the idea that breast cancer screening brings with it overdiagnosis and overtreatment.”
The reality is that the current medical establishment is generally in favour a more gung-ho approach to breast cancer treatment. They believe that it’s best practice to be prudent with certain diagnoses (like ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS), an early stage, non-spreading cancer) and operate asap.
Dr. Laura thinks otherwise.
She is a big advocate (and rebel) for not suggesting surgery unless it’s absolutely important. She is one of the few cancer surgeons in the US who chooses patience (a wait-and-watch approach) in most cases of early cancer detection. Her medical opinions often favour a regular follow up schedule with most of her patients instead of rushing into any invasive treatments, such as mastectomy, lumpectomy or biopsy (all are types of surgeries.)
While we may not expect our doctor to memorize the words to “Let It Go”, we would all definitely appreciate knowing (and trusting) that they have our best interests at ❤️️
Happy Doctor’s Day to all the great doctors out there!
PS: It’s a wonderful step forward to see that more and more medical professionals are respecting the close ties between the mental and physical health of their patients.
Have a great rest of the week friends! See you in April.
– The Goods
Annique “ doesn’t have a boring life ” Beaudreau
John “ New Spice ” Mongeau
Danko “ Jr. Tech ” Vassev
Links to ch-ch-check out.
🙅 A 1980’s women’s mag, very different than today.
💁 What a girls mag cover should look like.
🚿 How to Detox yo pits.
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