This Friday, I’m giving a shout out to a brand that I had never heard of until their ad graced a Hulu video that I happened to be watching. The ad was for the acne-fighting medication Onexton. Never heard of it, right? Unfortunately, it’s so off the beaten path (currently, anyway) that it takes some maneuvering to watch its ad. I did eventually find the video online, so here are the two steps you’ll need to take to watch it:
- Log on to http://www.onexton.com/fight-acne
- Scroll down a bit. The last bracket on the right side says “Watch our spot.” By clicking there, you’ve got the video.
Did you watch it? Great. Could you tell why it caught my attention and even invoked some warm fuzzies inside?
BECAUSE THEY DIDN’T SUDDENLY HAVE UNBELIEVABLY PERFECT SKIN! (Emphasis on “unbelievably.”) Usually in commercials for face wash or medicated ointment, the “after” models have ridiculously flawless faces. Faces with the kind of skin that looks more like a very thin, color-corrected silicone mask than actual human skin, especially that of someone who was acne-ridden a few weeks before. And that’s the norm in our society. Before and after pictures where the after is the ultimate in bangability. Weight loss programs never appear to yield medium results. General advertisements are so oiled up and photoshopped that they look more like a subspecies than our fellow humans. Commercials would lead you to believe that there is a magical cure for any unpleasant appearance issue, and for those of us who don’t have the ease of onscreen magicians, it really sucks.
In middle school, I was the poster child for the awkward phase. I had glasses (thick plastic ones that I got teased about until everyone had them the following year, the sheep), braces, boobs that came in way too soon and I didn’t know how to handle, hair so oily that I used medicated shampoo, and acne bad enough to warrant three individual medications. That’s one that you take orally, a special face wash, and medicated wipes. And even with all that heavy artillery, I didn’t suddenly have the flawless, plastic features of a Barbie doll. Or the tan that goes with them, I’ve always been as porcelin as a human person can be. My regular stage makeup looks like it’s meant for only ghost and geisha roles, or, you know, anything else that requires white foundation.
Being a 90’s baby and a teen in the 2000’s, I hit the lows of puberty during the height of Proactiv. Even as I type that word, I can’t help but grimace. As an outbreak-prone kid, I saw Proactiv as the biggest lie peddled to my generation. I tried it. Of course I did. The celebrities in the ads were so perfectly bump free, pledging all of their career success on this miracle formula that solved all of their skin problems and let them say bye-bye to photoshop. Everybody is different, but for me that was a load of crap. The frustration of trying the miracle cure and seeing the miracle work for others when it doesn’t for you is a lot for a middle schooler. After all, middle school is the worst, a distinction we’ve all come to by consensus. So seeing this new medication that advertises “fading” acne, features teens with visible spots on their faces in the “after” portion, and encourages users to show their skin even if it’s not as bump-free as blown glass? That’s a breath of fresh air, and fresh air so healthy that it might just be vitamin-fortified.
Obviously I don’t know if Onexton works or if it’ll come out to have some horrible side effect or have been made from animal jizz or whatever. It could be snake oil. It could be sinister. I am not suggesting you go buy it, I have no idea if you should! However, their ad made me do more than smile. It made me feel like a wrong had been righted, like the world had been made just a little bit better for awkward kids going through puberty. A little bit more honest, at least. So thank you, Onexton, for stepping outside the norms and making an advertisement that feels right. That’s not something we get to see a lot, and it’s lovely.
Have a great weekend, readers, and don’t sweat your spots!