6 October 2004
A bunch of ding-dongs
The image of the Avon Lady neat, upright, unpretentious, pretty but not drop-dead gorgeous is practically indelible, despite Avon's efforts in recent years to jazz up the product line. And I mean some fairly smooth jazz, too: if you've seen any of the recent biweekly campaign catalogs, you know that alongside the usual arrays of powders and moisturizers and lipsticks, they're vending some sort-of-sexy lingerie, not exactly Victoria's Secret, but not flannel and muslin either. It gets worse in March and April as they hawk this stuff for Mother's Day, which always leaves me with a serious case of cognitive dissonance: I can imagine it on Stacy's mom, I guess, but my mom wouldn't ever have gotten near it.
Still, I'm just this side of 51 years old; I can deal with images of scantily-clad (or less) women. I'm quite certain I couldn't when I was ten. And I really don't think it's a good idea to have grade-school kids trying to sell this kind of material for classroom fund-raising; it's probably less fattening than your average World's Finest chocolate bar, but kids are already getting overwhelmed with sexual stuff way before they're ready for it, and besides, what does your average Little League shortstop know about sun-protection factors anyway? Gimme back my Avon Lady.