It’s a Must-have! Or is It?

television tv

We’ve all seen them — the late night TV advertisements for those “must-have” products. The ones that assure you that for only $19.95, or 3 payments of $29.95, plus shipping and handling, your life could be so much easier and stress-free! Even better are the $60 worth of extra products or the free second set you get as bonus items if you order within the next 10 minutes!

So, many of us, either due to boredom, frustration, or blind hope, literally buy into what those infomercials are selling. But how many really live up to what they promise? And how many of these miracle products do we really need?

Take household cleaning products for instance. According to infomercials, traditional household methods such as sweeping, ironing, and manually turning on a light switch are big, clumpy, slow, impractical, inconvenient, and difficult. The floor cleaning infomercials show a person being overwhelmed, working up a sweat as they grab their back, just trying to push a big and bulky vacuum cleaner around. Inevitably the person also struggles as they try to drag that same oversized vacuum up the stairs or around a circular table, and then gives up in frustration. It’s either that and/or the standard equipment tests of vacuuming up everything from dirt, pet food, marbles, nails, and glass. These new products are miracle workers! After all, who doesn’t need a lightweight, portable, easily stored vacuum-broom to clean up the marbles and nails that we all have just laying around our floors?

Let us not forget about the clothing cleaners and accessories that show people completely destroying their clothes as they try desperately to do simple tasks like iron, remove stains, or repair a tear. It’s a wonder how people have been taking care of their homes, families, and personal belongings all these years. Convincingly portrayed is the fact that irons are neither very portable, suitable for ironing drapes while they are still hanging on the rod, nor refreshing an old garment you found rolled up in a ball at the bottom of the closet that you really want to wear that day but you don’t have time to wash. Not to mention that the “slam and drag” method of ironing doesn’t work very well at wrinkle removal. Makes you wonder how we’ve managed to have wrinkle-free clothing at home all these years.

Health and fitness products seem to have cornered the infomercial market. Between the supplements, fitness equipment, and food replacement products, everyone should be in great shape and super healthy. Based on most of the TV ads, people are so out of shape because we are either too uncoordinated to do aerobics, injure ourselves while doing regular exercises (like crunches), can’t afford an expensive gym membership, or can’t control our gluttonous dining habits. That is why people need products like big balls to do sit ups, one of 100 different ab machines, the pilates at home chair, or the latest meal replacement program. Each one claims pretty much the exact same thing as the next one. They all work the exact same muscle groups, they all store conveniently away in a closet or under a bed, and they are all adjustable to each individual’s fitness level. The more popular ones multitask by working the other body parts as well, such as the legs and butt. The transformation photos or displays of people being morphed from overweight and out of shape into skinny and super sexy are just short of amazing. No Photoshop retouches there. And the testimonials are all people that have completely transformed their bodies using the great new system. However, if you speed read the fine print that flashes on the screen you see that none of the results are typical. Hmmm…

What about the personal care and beauty products? It’s so funny to watch women wince or jump while plucking, cut themselves while shaving, or keel over in pain as they rip messy wax off. Who says beauty isn’t painful? It’s amazing that more females have not been treated in ERs across the country for trying to beautify themselves. Now, with the different new products coming out, self-torture can be a thing of the past, a distant memory. Why shave or wax when you can rub the hair away? Why manually tweeze when there are time saving electric tweezers?

What about the hair you want to keep? Styling your hair can be time consuming and difficult to say the least. That’s why hands-free styling products are so fantastic! They’re like having two sets of hands working on your hair. If tangly hair that looks like a bird made a nest on top of your head is your problem, there are a multitude of products and creams to help detangle and beautify.

Moving on from hair, there are a plethera of cleansers and makeup to help those cursed with bad skin. Between the makeup that you can airbursh on to the makeup made from raw minerals, makeup has become more than just a way to conceal your blemishes or enhance your beauty. Makeup products are actually becoming good for your skin. After all, who uses that gloopy, yucky, messy foundation anymore? When you are ready to wash that healthy makeup off, there are just as many facial cleaners that claim to deep clean and work quickly on all skin types to transform your blotchy or blemish-prone skin to beautiful and glowing. You can even choose between traditional cream cleansers to little hand-held machines with crystallized pads that gently clean and exfoliate. With so many choices, all claiming similar things, you could clear out your overstocked bathroom cabinets. Just pick any miracle product and be happy with the results, right?

It is true that many infomercials are over the top with their portrayals of the use of traditional products and methods. Most of them even border on comical. However, if you can get past the bad acting, some of those infomercial promoted products are pretty good or can be quite useful. Afterall, how can most of them continually do so well on sales if they didn’t work for at least a good percentage of the population? Heck, without inventors constanty coming up with new and improved ways of doing things, our society would probably still be stuck in the stone ages. Therefore, with such a wide variety of choices, regardless of what you may want or need, from home care to personal care, you will eventually see an infomercial promoting the perfect “must-have” products for you. Just be careful not to become so obsessed with making your life stress-free that it becomes clutter filled.

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