If you weighed the world 100 years ago and weighed it now, created a fraction for people versus pounds, the world would have gained twice its weight (this, of course, is an uneducated guess on my part). So as North Americans we’ve been trying to figure out how this has happened and like everything else the path has led us to the children who are absorbing our learned ways. Go into any school cafeteria and you will find hot dogs filled with things I gag at trying to type, french fries so calcified that they should be identified as mineral not as vegetable, not to mention the 143 million pounds of ground beef assigned primarily for school lunch programs that’s just been recalled. There are pop machines in the hallways, ads for xbox in the washrooms and pizza assaulted by cheese on top, in the crusts and in between the corrugated cardboard. So when I was at a friend’s house the other night and her four and a half year old son suggested that maybe he should use Proactive to get rid of the little tiny spot on his face I almost fell off my chair. As I squished my lips together trying not to scream with a mixture of awe and shock I asked him where he had heard about Proactive. Apparently, instead of advertising for Spider Man action figures in between commercials for his favourite cartoon Jessica Simpson was extolling the virtues of the combination mask, cleanser, toner. What in the world is Proactive doing advertising on a children’s network? Cartoons are supposed to be the ultimate escape from reality, the place you go as a child to see superheroes tackling the bad guys, where good conquers evil and as an adult where you can go to forget the piles of bed clothes from your not yet potty trained kids sitting waiting to be laundered. It’s not the place you go to be told your kids will be embarrassed of you when you drop them off at Kindergarten if you don’t cleanse and tone your adult onset pimples.
Next they’ll have commercials for eye lifts, boob jobs and butt check enhancers for men. Is looking good what we want our kids to grow up thinking is important? It was bad enough when corporations were forcing plastic toys on kids and now it’s plastic implants, it makes me yearn for the simpler days. I’d give anything to go back to the golden age when people were punching each other out in the aisles for Cabbage Patch Kids.