One of the nuances Karl Marx failed to predict in his assessment of late stage capitalism—our current epoch of globalization and mass consumerism—is the steady lubrication provided by YouTube personalities on behalf of corporations pumping out useless shit for us to buy.

Somehow the concept of a "brand ambassador" didn't make it into Marx's a dialectic reading of history.

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Ad Age reports that Origins, a cosmetic company owned by Estee Lauder, is launching its biggest consumer research project ever: a new $40 anti-aging product aimed entirely at young women who are going through their "Quarter Life Crisis."

Yes, that cute social meme most often used to assemble a list of .gifs meant to capture a rolling wave of anxiety when you realize that your twenties are harder than you thought they would be, that your private liberal arts college degree has prepared you for fuck all and your friends' various pathologies are starting to make you feel like that sad Russian dog they sent into space: alone, tired, scared. The one thing that you had, your relative youth— NOT SO FAST YOU SNAPCHATTING, ASSHOLE!—it is now officially a marketing scheme.

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"There's a protein synthesis called carbonylation where the skin becomes more opaque," an Origins marketing executive told Ad Age, "We're validating what the consumer is seeing in the mirror."

The marketing campaign will consist of: a selfie touch up app, plopping some "native advertising" on BuzzFeed with "quarter-life crisis" as a theme (two listiscles at least) greasing up YouTube personalities for product reviews, and the endorsements of 40 "social media influencers," like Tanya Burr and Jen Chae.

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Take a knee, Social Influencers. I know life has become very glamorous for you; in between the book deals, marketing launches for water-proof pashminas, product reviews for bath salts, Yankee candles, and anal bleach kits, your lowly lot from a fly-over-state blogger to corporate brand ambassador has felt like trademarked Disney dream come true. But, hey, HEY, GIRL, can we recognize that this product is too nakedly cynical for you to slather on your face and then gush to your "subscribers" about how less decayed you feel?

I mean, you saw Uma Thurman's "new look": a Macedonian death mask of thread and fillers. Do you need to hasten that terror in the young, dumb, and dewy faced millennials?

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I know. I know. You're just doing You! But, hey, does You™ want to be a part of a $10 billion dollar company's "demand creation"?

Demand creation is a cute term marketing ghouls coined to describe the process of creating demand for a product that no one wants or needs. Here's how one prick who wrote a book about it (Demand: Creating What People Love Before They Know They Want It, by Adrian J. Slywotzky) explains the phenomenon:

Find the Trigger

Most people who hear about a product remain fence-sitters, unwilling to try or buy until a trigger moves them to act. Some great products, like Volkwagen's Phaeton, or tap-and-go credit cards, failed to take off because their creators didn't figure out how to overcome consumer inertia. Great demand creators constantly search for the right triggers, always experimenting until they get a response.

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You wanna finger our mortality triggers, Jen Chae?

Can I ask, just this one time, you say no? Because this whole thing is tacky and gross. You can never use your "social media influence" for good, because LOL, you're a *~*bEaUty VlOgGeR*~* and are therefore a courtesan to brands—but how about you don't roll over and show Origins your millennial tummy just this one time?

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There will be other selfies.

Image via Getty