20s Are The Best Years, & Other Strange Findings From Clairol

If you're 28, you had better smiling, because this is the happiest time of your life, according to a study conducted by Clairol Perfect 10.

Some of this study, reported by the Telegraph makes a certain kind of sense. Women in their late 20s are more likely to have secure jobs and steady incomes than those in their late teens or early 20s. This is also apparently when "their hair looks the best, body shape is at its peak and confidence is at an all-time high." Wait, what?

The study looked at surveys of 4,000 women aged 25-65 and pinpointed times when participants reported being happiest at their jobs (29), content with their relationships (30), most financially confident (33), and having the best sex (28). They also found that women feel they age more quickly than men, which probably has something to do with our strange cultural tendency to view hot older women as some sort of hilarious anomaly (MILFs or Cougars, anyone?).

A spokesperson for Clairol Perfect 10 states that: "Reaching and surpassing your twenties no longer triggers the downward spiral of your looks and self-confidence." As ridiculous as this statement sounds, this is sadly, something many of us have heard before. I was recently speaking with a male acquaintance when he decided to share his opinions on female attractiveness. "Women peak at 18," he said. "You will never be as hot as you were at 18." As much as I wish he was alone in his ideals, in a culture that fetishizes youth and girlishness, it is unsurprising to hear that others (including Clairol, pre-study) think like this.

When these two ideas intersect—your 20s are the best time ever and you will never be as hot as you were as a teen—it creates a paradox of obnoxious clichés that make it impossible for women to win. I am either too old to be really attractive, or years away from my happiest time. But we can take heart in the fact that this study is peddling a load of crap. The idea that someone "peaks" and then slowly declines is a dangerous one, which sets us all up for failure, for it is impossible to recognize this mythical "peak moment" until it has passed us by. Clairol follows their statement about the sad decline of women in their 20s with this: "And a little time put aside in hectic schedules for self-pampering and the odd beauty product can help keep you feeling young and looking your best." And we can only look our best, and obviously be our happiest, if we use Clairol products. Psychologist Corinne Sweet also weighs in, with this interesting tidbit:

"Having a good hair day is essential to success both at work and in love, as many women still feel their hair is their crowning glory. Considering it was found that women have six bad hair days a month, anything women can rely on to improve their hair at home, in the minimum of time with guaranteed results can mean a huge lift in well-being, confidence and self-esteem. This can help women feel they are in the driving seat in their lives, despite the challenging times of modern life and always being on the go."

So our hair is what make us really happy, and if we can find the right products to help us tame the wild mane, than we will be forever in control? If it looks like an ad, and quacks like an ad, then maybe it is little more than a cleverly disguised ad.

Women 'Happiest At 28' [Telegraph]