MEET GENEVIEVE

A veteran magazine beauty editor/writer (and a member of the 40+ club), Genevieve Monsma created MediumBlonde to help Gen Xers and Baby Boomers age the way they want.

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A Beauty Ad That Speaks To Us. Finally.

A Beauty Ad That Speaks To Us. Finally.

Most people who watched the Golden Globes last night are talking today about Oprah’s speech, Seth’s monologue, the all-black dress code, or Natalie Portman throwing shade while announcing the all-male best-director category. But one of my favorite moments was a hair commercial.

The minute-long ad starts with an actress in a dressing room rehearsing her lines as soft music plays in the background. She’s dressed in a black gown and her face is concealed by long, cascading brown waves. The camera flashes to a bouquet of roses with a card that reads Break a leg! With all my love —M, then back to the actress as she paces. Suddenly, a stage-hand pops into the room to tell the actress, “We’re ready for you.”

 A screen grab of L'Oreal Paris's new Elvive ad 

A screen grab of L'Oreal Paris's new Elvive ad 

As the woman walks out of the room, the music intensifies, and the actress finally turns so we can see her face. Winona Ryder. The screen goes black with just the words. Everyone Loves a Comeback. Chills.

The next screen says Damaged Hair Deserves One Too, then flashes to Elvive Total Repair 5, L’Oreal Paris’s intensive hair-repair collection. Ok, corny. But they had me at Winona.

The ad was generally well-received on social media, though a few (Millennials, mostly) were aghast, claiming L’Oreal Paris had compared Winona to damaged hair—or that the ad suggested Hollywood would only welcome Winona back when she had good hair.

In my opinion, they missed the point (or are simply too young to get the inspiration of reinvention). If you’re reading this blog, you, like me, probably grew up with Winona. Heathers. Beetlejuice. Edward Scissorhands. Reality Bites. She’s one of us. Her first love was a bad boy (Jonny Depp), she was angsty and confused in the early '90s, her career was on a steady upward trajectory then took an unexpected detour, and she made some regrettable haircut decisions. But she’s back, first with a cameo in Black Swan, then as Joyce Byers in my favorite Netflix show, Stranger Things, and now as the face of a L’Oreal Paris haircare collection. And I am all in on it. As women 40+, shouldn’t we be supportive of our sisters' second acts? I know I’m trying to have one as a blogger while print publishing takes a nosedive, and I assume many of you are too. Because Everyone Deserves a Comeback.

As for Elvive Total Repair 5, I haven’t tried it yet myself so I can’t endorse it. But, it may be worth picking up if for no other reason than to demonstrate the buying power of our demo. Most of us with 40 in our rearview mirror know what damaged hair looks and feels like (I sure do), and, for once, a product that’s right for us is also being appropriately marketed to us with a spokeswoman our age. (For the record, Winona is 46, exactly four days older than me). I don't even mind the corny comparison between damaged hair and a career comeback. Because if there is one thing that's gotten easier with age, it's being able to laugh at myself. I think Winona would agree.

Haven't seen the ad yet? Check it out here. As for Elvive Total Repair 5, it can be found at most drugstores or online here.

What did you think of the ad? Email me at mediumblondeblog@gmail.com or let us all know in the Comments below.

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