It is hard to believe that it was just a decade ago when Starbucks first launched the much lauded Pumpkin Spice Latte, and with it invented the season we now know of as “Fall.” It’s hard to believe that there was a time in our lives when we didn’t line up for our piping hot […]
Every year, as Halloween rolls around, we find the conversation renewed regarding the overextension of “sexy” themed women’s costumes. But there’s another costume cold war that doesn’t get nearly the attention that the sexy lady one does. Each year, children get creepier and creepier on Halloween, and we seem to be doing nothing to stop it. […]
There is almost no food that exists in America that someone has not added bacon to. Even ice cream hasn’t been safe from this savory, salty staple. But what does the bacon lover do when there’s just not enough time to fry up a batch? I headed over to Rocket Fizz, a soda and candy […]
If you’re like me, you love eating at restaurants but often find yourself balking at that pesky, “No shirt, no shoes, no service” policy. Luckily, as part of their consistent effort to get our dollars in any way possible, more and more name-brand restaurants are bringing their flavors to the grocery store. So put on […]
If you keep seeing commercials for strange and wonderful fast food items, but just don’t have the energy to get out to that drive-thru window every night, don’t worry. You can find a bunch of creative concoctions right in the aisles of your local grocery store, which all leave you with little to no prep […]
At some point near the turn of the century, it seems the decision makers for all the fast food chains in the country looked out upon their works and sighed. The public, they decided, must have grown tired of simply caring about quality of food. “Let’s just get weird with it,” they must have said […]
It really should be no secret anymore that advertisers love splitting us up into smaller, easier-to-market-to groups. And most of the time when they do, we end up spending more for the same product. The plus side to this though is that once we’ve peeled back this marketing matrix and seen it for what it […]
America. USA. ‘Merica. No matter how you say it, you probably love our country and you get super excited for its birthday. Not like those jerks, the (insert political party you don’t like) hanging out in those (Northern/Eastern/Southern/Western) states that just don’t understand what this country is all about, right? Not like you and your […]
As someone who lives her life treating gender like it’s merely a suggestion (because it is), I’ve grown quite accustomed to the way that marketing loves to divide the world up in order to trick us into giving them maximized profits. While my life history has made me perhaps more keenly aware of it, I’m hardly the first to notice, or even to break down why it happens. What I can do, however, is provide you with some examples of some ways that shoppers of any sex and gender can cut costs by cutting through gender roles.
A new addition to the slate of seemingly unnecessarily gendered products this year: sunscreen. Banana Boat has recently launched the all new Banana Boat For Men. This is apparently to combat the waves of sunburned men who have refused to use a product as girly and effete as Banana Boat Sport? I guess I find it hard to believe that there are legions of lobster-looking bros out there who have been adamant that they’d rather get skin cancer than put on any of that chick stuff, but apparently Banana Boat is banking on the idea that there are. Or more likely, they think that by creating the solution the problem will start to exist. All I know is I’ve been to plenty of beaches and I’ve never heard anyone complain about sissy sunscreen.
I’m continuing my foray into some of the more interesting internet subscription service options and whether or not they’re actually worth that monthly fee.
Mavens by Julep
The Premise: Nail polish brand Julep provides a monthly themed box of high-end nail polish and cosmetics for a fee of $24.99. Users pick from a style profile, with names like “It Girl” or “Boho Glam,” and are sent selections for that month’s theme. While you’re given a box that matches your style profile by default, you can opt to choose a box from a different style profile.
The Experience: I spoke with Meredith, a User Experience Expert in Southern California who is a big fan of the service. A self-described nail polish addict, Meredith finds that the subscription service has really helped her curb her spending without sacrificing her nails. “Last year my New Years resolution was to stop impulse buying nail polish, so I got the [Mavens subscription]. It keeps me on budget and they have enough different “packages” each month that I never feel like there’s nothing I don’t want.”
As internet subscription services begin to outnumber websites featuring quizzes about things like ‘Which Caroline in the City character are you?” I find myself wondering which of them are actually worth my monthly fee and which have a press release that just fit nicely into a click-through blurb?
I decided to test a few of them out to get a feel for how they actually benefit a user, and how much they live up to their promising allure.
You’re a man, busy doing things like biting the caps off of beer bottles and serenading ladies on the street with the ancient Hymn of the Cat Call. With a hectic schedule like that, how can you possibly be bothered with shopping for essential man-stuff? Okay but what if your mom is busy? Right, exactly. That is the premise of Men’s online subscription services. Dedicated to finding the easiest way for you to man it up, they take any and all pesky work on your part out of the equation. So what kinds of things are readily available from your fingertips to your doorstep?
Razors – The internet is VERY concerned with making sure men are shaving. If you haven’t already created an artisan straight razor out of a vintage bike tire and are still going the cartridge route, there options for you. Number one, because it is the easiest to remember, is Dollar Shave Club, which offers three choices of blades in $1, $3 and $9 a month options. Once a month, DSC sends you the razors, and has upgrade options to include a shaving butter, which makes sense for synergy, and pre-moistened peppermint scented toilet paper called One Wipe Charlies, which makes no sense and sort of freaks me out when I think about the men who need that on a monthly subscription.
It was immediately clear that Beverly was not expecting a voice as deep as mine to respond from behind the fitting room curtain as she pleasantly strolled by and asked in her delightful British accent, “Are you ladies doing okay in there?” Her fellow employee had been the one to set me up to try on my finds and so her startled “Excuse me?” was less out of judgement and more out of the simple complete lack of having expected it. Hearing this in her voice, I muttered “no worries, I’m just transgender, it’s confusing,” to the giggles of my friend in the neighboring booth and went on trying on the awesome peacock skirt that I ended up buying.
It wasn’t always so easy. At 32, completely out and living openly as a transgender person, my experiences with shopping are vastly different from that of a mid-teen me, who would’ve been far too terrified at the idea of anyone jumping from shock at my voice to ever reply in the first place. Even the idea of walking into a store, being seen as a teenage boy perusing the women’s clothing, taking something I liked and actually asking to try it on seemed so daunting, so unachievable a task that you may as well have asked me to go ahead and master calculus and whip up a cure for cancer using household goods while I was at it.