I do this thing where I focus on the little things a lot. It probably means I’m just detail oriented or analytical which I know are both true about myself and can sometimes be pluses during those annoying job interviews. However, I believe that the little things in life add up. The little parts of our society come together more often than we think to send us messages. These little messages end up adding up to create a whole picture- a whole belief really.
It’s ok if you’re confused right now. I am too a little, but don’t let me lose you. I’ll explain… With a fun Target story.
I went to target the other day. It was mainly to hang out with my best friend before having to go back to school but also who says no to target like ever? So we walked around for a while, And talked about our lives while filling our arms with things we probably didn’t really need but we were buying anyway in a typical Target shopping fashion. We checked out, hugged goodbye, planned for the next time we would see each other and went our own ways. I had dinner with my family and then drove back to school.
When I was unloading and putting away the items I had purchased on our lovely little shopping trip, I picked up one of the candles we had gotten. They were buy one get one, and I found two that smelled amazing, so of course, I got both. But what I didn’t really notice in the store was the name of the candle. It was called “Confidence and Freedom” and it was described to smell like “oak moss amber” whatever the hell that means. To me, it smells very simply like guys. It’s slightly soapy and a little bit like cologne all wrapped up into a nice soy wax blend candle.
Now being the detail-oriented overanalyze that I am, as I was putting away the rest of my stuff, I couldn’t help but go back to those tiny details of this one candle. I thought about how odd it was that a candle company decided to attempt to categorize these two words with a smell and the smell that they picked was tied to male products specifically.
They named a candle that smells like men “Confidence and Freedom.”. These facts add up to make the statements that, number one, men smell like confidence and freedom; and therefore, inherently have both of those things and number two, confidence and freedom cannot be a “girly” smell. Heck, they even made the jar of the candle baby boy blue.
Now I completely understand that this is an extremely small thing, that the only reason I even noticed the name was because I liked the actual product enough to buy it meaning how much attention should really be given to a name on a candle? But my argument is that little things like this are passive aggressive ways companies wiggle cultural messages into our lives. And once enough companies repeat the same message enough times in enough ways, it because a cultural norm that we are living by without even noticing.
So moral of the story? Next time you go candle shopping, overanalyze the candle before you buy it so you won’t have to once you get home.
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