“Suckers, liars get me a shovel!”

Hey y’all,

Today I’d nipped out of the office to grab a sarnie (sorry: sandwich) and while I was out and about, I dropped into Boots. Well, they do do nice meal deals and there’s the make-up section. Food and fabness, what’s not to like? 🙂

So as I pottered about basket in hand I wandered through the shiny packages of nail varnishes and lippys available. One thing that struck me about the promotional posters though, was this: the amount of BS beauty product adverts seem to contain.

Is that a bit harsh? Let me explain. What I mean is, if you watch an advert for… say… mascara, the small print will zip along the bottom saying something along the lines of enhanced post production or filmed with lash inserts. Okay, so when I come to try that fabuloso-in-a-tube, I’m not going to be batting a thousand, more like a half baked baker’s dozen?

Riiiight. So while I’m not naive enough to believe what I see in an advert, I would kinda like the product to have some standing in reality. I mean, how long before we see an advert of a flying car (“Announcing the new Ford Areo!”) only to see the small print of real car only travels on roads and does not actually fly. 🙂

Oh well, I guess you can’t have it all? I suppose the other option would be to ask if we can have access to the same software the ad companies use? Never a dull day in ad-land!


Yesterday, the BBC ran a TV programme called Dress to Impress (more here). I must say a quick note of thanks to Alex for spotting this wee gem in the schedules. It’s part of the Beeb’s Moving On series of plays, or drama, if you prefer. I watched it ‘cos it features a trans character. Why? Partly to see how the programme deals with it and also because I am a trans (part-time, yes, but still trans).

The actors & crew did a great job. Jack McMullen did well as the young lad of the piece. There’s a bit at the start where his character, Daniel, takes a keen interest in the times when his parents will be back. God, that struck home and brought back a flood of lost memories….

The clunk of the front door as it shuts. A nosey through the blinds upstairs as the car pulls out of the drive. You pull open the cupboard and reach for the items you keep stashed. A grasp at momentary freedom: a few hours to be yourself. Perhaps, more accurately, to not be your everyday self, but the person you long to be….

That was so long ago – 20 years? – yet in my mind’s eye I can see it all. It was the 80s too. Dotty blouses and killer heels. No wonder I can’t watch Ashes to Ashes 🙂

Maybe that’s the power of good drama: to leave us affected by what went on. Maybe Joe Public will be looking at the relationship between the husband and wife. But, for a small chunk of us, our t-dar will be pinging as Daniel studies women’s fashions. You know he’s going to come out, so I’m not spoiling anything here. Just how it happens, maybe I’m soft, but it did wrench my heart.

I’ll leave you to watch it on iPlayer and make up your own minds.

Take care,

[ Today’s lyric: Don’t Believe the Hype by Public Enemy. ]


  1. If you could bring yourself to watch Ashes to Ashes… this week, you’d have seen the gang in an encounter with a transsexual character. A criminal, of course… pretty typical portrayal, really.

    Ah well… there’s nothing new under the Sun, is there?

  2. That was an interesting portrayal. Looks like the writers may have actually done some research for one 🙂

    Thought the dressed confrontation was a little unecessary. And given the father’s mood at the time it could very easily have led to violence and accusations of homosexuality, or being less than a man. But overall it was pretty sympathetic.

    OK and the ending didn’t really make a lot of sense. Where was he going? Why? How long had passed?

  3. Suomy: ‘Course, TV and TS folk – at least in some films/shows – are the loons aren’t they? That or cannon fodder to be expended as part of the story arc.
    Not that I’m bitter 🙂

    Pandora: I think they [the writers] did, that or they managed to get right under the skin of the character.

    The confrontation? Well, I think I can see why that was in. The lad felt boxed in and had to do something to break up the arguement between his folks.

    His dad seemed fueled by drink, so yes, I suppose there could have been a risk. I got the impression it was all a bit impotent fury on the dad’s part tho: all mouth.

    As to the ending, well, I’ve not seen the other plays, but this piece closed with him moving on – as it says on the tin I guess 🙂

    On the whole, I liked it. When Daniel came back for a family meal, I was happy to see they’d left him as is. There was no need to go for the heels and frock route.

    T.G.C: That’s true. It takes a while to get there though doesn’t it? 🙂 That and expensive doesn’t always mean good as much as cheap doesn’t always mean rubbish.

  4. On the subject of cosmetics ads making grandiose promises, I remember once watching several minutes of some ghastly infomercial while channel-surfing late one night, and seeing some wondrous product advertised that was supposed to magically rejuvenate one’s face. Each gushing testimonial about said product’s efficacy was accompanied, however, by the words “Results not typical” in small print at the bottom of the screen; and even the satisfied customers shown didn’t appear to have benefited all that much from their use of the product. Despite all of them saying how much younger it had made them look, all but one of them looked their actual age, while the one that didn’t, looked older!

  5. Yeah, you wonder. You also wonder how it can be legal to peddle stuff like this given that “Results not typical” seems to be a fairly frank admission that the product being sold is utter junk.

  6. Like food packaging / advertising where the product looks fresh and great compared to the sloppy mess in the packet or jar.
    I probably have seen the same infomercial Zosimus saw and you could be taken in by it all.
    Have writen about Dress To Impress but will repeat that it was very recognisable and brought back a lot of memories.

  7. Lucy: Regarding Dress to Impress, there's been a fair bit of forum traffic about it. Many people mentioned the word 'memories' so it's had quite an effect.

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