Monday, April 28, 2014

Beezin, A Real Buzz Kill

This morning, I sat down to work and found an interesting story in one of my marketing newsletters. Burt's Bees, the natural beauty products company, is launching a very innovative digital advertising campaign. Once someone opts in, the company's promotional messages will pop up in the person's online calendar. The program will run for eight weeks to demonstrate that the new Burt's Bees Brightening Face Care line "can brighten your skin's appearance in eight short weeks." Oh, and then they'll give you a $3 coupon.

I had some thoughts about this.

First of all, I'm not a conspiracy-theory nutcase. I'm not really worried about big data or big brother or even the NSA. But, I still don't want to cede control of my calendar to a health and beauty products manufacturer. My calendar is my business. Period.

Second, like so many other working moms, I'm over-committed. I have plenty of electronic reminders that go off already. Conference calls and yoga classes, high school pick-ups, doctor's appointments and meetings. Invariably, when these reminders go off, I'm already running late for whatever I'm being reminded about. I don't need to get a reminder about a beauty product. I don't want to get a reminder about a beauty product. In fact, if I did happen to get a reminder about a beauty product I would no doubt express my frustration in words that were anything but beautiful.

Third, how much does Burt's Bees think my time is worth? Eight weeks of marketing and then I get a lousy $3 off? Sheesh.

Last, and most germane to readers of Lovin' the Alien, didn't I just see Burt's Bees in the press in connection with yet another stupid teenage trend?

It's called "beezin," and it's cheap and simple. Basically, you take a tube of Burt's Bees lip balm and rather than apply it to the aforementioned lip, you apply it to your eyelids. The result is a chilling tingle, followed by a sense of euphoria.

Say what?

Beezin legend has it that the fad started accidentally at Colby College in Maine, where students were trying to soothe dry skin around their eyes. The Briarcliff Bulletin highly recommended it in January: "It really just makes your eyes tingle a little bit, but it’s just fun to do to change up the school day.” And The Gothamist described the experience as "Riding in a convertible through a mint field in January."

Apparently, young people everywhere were beezin their eyes out. Not really, of course. But — alas — all good things must come to an end. 

In the past couple of days, doctors have stepped forward and issued stern warnings about the dangers of beezin. (I guess you could really beeze your eyes out if you're not careful.) Apparently, we have a lot of blood vessels in our eyes. When we beeze, the lip balm goes directly into our blood stream. This can cause inflammation, infection, loss of sight or ... death.

(Cue the ominous "bump, bump, bump, bum" music here.)

Serious? I would guess that most of us have accidentally gotten worse things than mint lip balm into our eyes. Nevertheless, the news media has gone a bit overboard with the whole beezin thing. Here's a typical headline:

Beezin fad growing among teens despite risk of blindness

And, there are some pretty funny parody videos out there too.

Okay, kids. Creativity's great and all, but please resist using household products in (new and different) ways for which they were not intended. Lip balm = balm for lips. Get it? Got it? Good.

Then again, I'm a concerned mother and I probably shouldn't make light of this. It could be sweeping the country and poisoning our youth even as I type. After all there's a whole Facebook page dedicated to it.

It has 74 members. 

If you enjoyed this post, I invite you to order a copy of my new book Lovin' the Alien at   

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