The End Days

Dear Millicent,

Just when healthcare is a major news story, and the public is examining the essentials of money and access, the new eyelash growing drug Latisse is in full promotional throttle.  Insurance companies swear they want what’s best for us, and those against the public option swear that the current system really is on our side.  And they are, if we are the type to spend a couple thou on thicker lashes.  This product captures the lack of logic and the class gap that are the great pillars of anti-reform.  If I think about it too hard, I throw a fit like Rumpelstiltskin.

Here’s Latisse.  Originally a glaucoma drug, patients found that their eyelashes were recieving a side benefit during treatment. The commerical is filmed in full Pantene-o-vision, with lots of satine shots showing glossy hair and sophisticated ladies. Brooke Shields is the spokesmodel, and at first I thought it was one more of those “look what we’ve done now” mascara commercials for Superstrong, Sexxymax,  HighGlo, True You Everlasting, with bedazzled new spiral wand for easier, lovelier application. And then realized, hell no.  It’s a drug that looks like eyeliner, and it FUCKING GROWS YOUR EYELASHES. It can also cause excessive irritation, skin darkening and red eyelids.

Allergan, the company that makes Latisse, also makes Juvederm.  Their website is a wonder.  Not only can you watch Brooke’s Journey to full lashes, but you can view close up after close up of greasy, alien looking eyelashes.  Our use of mascara is witness to the fact that the majority of us suffer from a grave illness, and they have found the cure:

LATISSE® solution is a prescription treatment for hypotrichosis used to grow eyelashes, making them longer, thicker and darker.
Eyelash hypotrichosis is another name for having inadequate or not enough eyelashes.

We have one more thing that we need to get rejuvenated.  I think the next drug up will be about getting ride of those pesky wrinkles on our elbows.

There is some very good chat about the marketing and product at NYTimes, Sociological Images, and Gin and Tacos.

Did you ever hear of the urban legend about the drug that would make hair removal permanent, and that the Gillette company bought the drug out so that the razor business wouldn’t tank? I wonder if Maybelline has any stock in this thing?


3 Responses to The End Days

  1. Louise says:

    Once while in the states I read a news story as follows : a county in the back of beyond decided to ask its residents how it should spend its health budget. People were asked to say what types of medical/surgical interventions should be prioritised. What came out No. 1? Not hip replacements, not heart surgery, but breast enlargements. Having said that, I expect there are people who have undergone radiation treatment who would like to have their eyelashes back…

    • Carla Fran says:

      Hi Louise, thanks for your note!
      I automatically rankle when normal gets dubbed inadequate, but I can see that this would be a great boon for the eyelashless folk. Some patients on Youtube have also put the stuff on other body parts, trying to grow hair. One women reported that it grew a long colorless hair in a baldspot on her eyebrow. She wasn’t sure what to do with it.

      It is also interesting that Botox and Latisse were byproducts of research, and not original research inquiries in their own right. Did this happen with Viagra, too? If so, it would give the pharmaceutical companies a little more moral ground.

      If long lashes become less genetic and more gettable, then I wonder if they will lose some of their allure. Fake boobs haven’t detracted from overally boob beauty, I guess, but they have certainly defined what works and doesn’t work in that department…

  2. Millicent says:

    I am almost 100% sure my mother used this product after an eyelash-curling mishap.

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