Wednesday, March 19, 2008

vintage hair ads

oh, how happy i was to discover this website featuring hundreds of vintage hair ads. i had been looking because of my recent reflection regarding my earliest memory of image pleasure. i'm referring to recognition of bodily sensation associated with reception of an image that has been clearly designed to perform a paritcular kind of rhetorical work.

at left (is that Kelly LeBrock?) is one of the ads. i've not had luck finding the ad yet, but it was an ad for a hair product that drew me in. i ripped it from the mag and took it to Vegas with me when we travelled there to pick up the $50,000 my dad won when he bet that the Bucs would win the division championship (for the first time -- in the '70's). we stayed at the MGM grand, and i got my perm there. in the salon, they styled it just as in the picture, but little did i know that perms sort of "shrink" your hair, so i had a very short version of what i'd wanted, which was a longer, looser version, like this (right). i was crushed with my short mom-do.

so i ran back to the room to wash my hair and style it myself, thinking i could fix it. but, the horror -- unfamiliar with permed hair, i felt a crunchy web of prickly wire and beheld in the mirror my new look, Anne Wilson (Heart). i was sad because i'd wanted that supersmoothe look, and my Vegas vacation was ruined (i've never liked Vegas, ever; think it's connected, Paul*?), but i learned to live with it and even grew into the bad-girl image it inspired.

there is much more to say, including some stuff about how my first Barbie came with 3 packets of hair color. you would dip her updside down -- hold her by her crippled ankles -- into a cup into which you'd mixed one of the packets' contents with water. out she'd come, a brunette or redhead or whatever. fabulous (not really; it was actually pretty scary because, well, Barbie is a blonde, and the quality of the color product was pretty low).

there is no conclusion. i'm still captivated by hair ads. and today's digitally-enhanced supershinyhair is actually frightening but fabulous at the same time. siliconiscious, it is.

* shoutout to Gabriel Byrne, In Treatment

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