Wednesday, December 28, 2011

The Sophie's Choice of Orthodontics

Well, we've been here before. I take what in my mind will be a "short break" from this thing and next thing I know I'm clearing out the mice and other vermin that have collected in it due to lack of use. This time, an attempt at the NaNoWriMo was my undoing. NaNoWriMo, other than being gibberish, is short for National Novel Writing Month, a campaign to get people to write a 175-page novel in one month with more emphasis on quantity than quality. Well, I gave it the old college try, but about 40 pages in I managed to burn myself out to the point of making me not want to write, I guess it's been just about two months now.

So now that I've let enough time elapse to actually want to use a keyboard again, I need to make mention of a commercial that I watched recently that disturbed me on a deeply emotional level. It's a seemingly innocent spot for Invisalign brand invisible braces. But there's something very cruel going on that I think needs to be addressed. Take a look and see what I mean.

Is anyone else wondering why the hell this mother decided to give one twin regular braces and the other twin Invisaligns? I've been beating my brains out trying to think of a rational explanation for why any parent would do that to their children, but I just can't think of one. The only thing that comes close to a legitimate excuse is that the family's dental insurance wouldn't cover Invisalign for both girls. But if that's the case, would any mother really screw one kid over for the sake of another? I can't help but think that the rational decision here would be to find an option that was a little more modest than the Invisiligns that both sisters could use.

But this mother obviously wasn't interested in treating both of her daughters with human decency. Not only did she sacrifice one daughter's dental and emotional health for the other's, but she obviously took steps to provide her favorite twin with ample opportunity to rub Braceface's nose in the situation. I can only assume that mommie dearest made the popcorn that only one of the girls could eat, and then put it in the lap of the very girl who couldn't eat any of it. And I don't think the Invisalign twin owned that camcorder that she was parading around the bathroom to get some great action shots of that torture device her sister had strapped to her head.

Finally, we have the final shot of the happy, metal-free twin flashing a sign that says "Thanks Mom" while Railroad Mouth forces a smile that I can only assumed shredded the inside of her cheeks and lips. Am I the only one who thinks that Mom was standing behind the camera threatening to kill a baby seal if she didn't smile?

I'd be very interested to talk to the person from Invisalign's advertising department behind this ad to find out what mental space they were in when they came up with this slice of hell. Call me sexist, but this had to have been made by a woman; one who grew up in a V.C. Andrews-type household where the matriarch regularly physically and emotionally abused her children. This 30-second scene may be the only outlet that this woman had to vent the grief and rage that she had pent up for years.

On the other hand, it could have just been a poorly-written premise made by some dude still hungover from yesterday's twenty-four martini lunch. Either way, it's kind of a shitty commercial.