I've Always Wanted To Be A 'Breck Girl'
Hello, Breck Shampoo. I'm Ready!
I have to, at this time, like to give my good friend, Jody Kamins Harper, Dothan, Alabama, a talented freelance writer for Southern Magazine, credit for inspiring this story.
I have to be honest. I’m not from a small town. I live in a small town. Hamilton, Alabama, the county seat of Marion County. There is a decent-amount of industry in my town as well as famous fast-food restaurants--Hardee’s, KFC, Burger King, McDonald’s and Pizza Hut. Our Pizza Hut cannot sell beer for we are a ‘dry’ town. That means it’s against the law to sell alcohol. For all of you who are from the fast-paced, up-tempo, big cities, don’t laugh too much, for yes, that law is still around. But I can say with a clear conscience that we have a wonderful police department and not a “boss hogg” character from The Dukes of Hazzard.
Like you, I had my dreams as a youngster growing up in this rural setting. I am not, at least I don’t think that, I am abnormal just because my roots lie in a small, rural town in Alabama. This, I shouldn’t apologize for. Life has it’s way of winding its way around us many times providing inescapable situations that prevent us from achieving our dreams--even the smallest of our dreams are not realized. I fit into this latter category. My inescapable situation was having to go right to work after graduation to help my dad pay our household bills. And with college out of the financial picture, I reluctantly set my sights on just working at a day job. Any job. To help my dad.
Briefly, at age eleven, I dreamed of being a disc jockey working the ‘swinging,’ ‘exciting,’ and always ‘action-packed,’ night shift at some FM rock and roll station (maybe WLS/Chicago, home of John Records Landecker) where I could wear my aviator sunglasses, worn out Hawaiian shirt, loafers and play the music that America (then) loved. Rock. Yes, playing LP’s (vinyl albums) by Jimi Hendrix; Jefferson Airplane; Grateful Dead and The Beatles on real turntables. That was my ideal dream job. After learning that I was to go right to work, I said a sad farewell to my DJ dream.
You see, even in high school (Hamilton High School: Home of The Aggies), I wasn’t infected with ambition like my friends. I wasn’t after the big bucks, popularity, power and a name. I was mostly a carefree, quiet-spoken, obscure teenage guy who wanted very little out of life. With a job to match my views on life. A DJ on the night shift at an FM rock station. That was for me. I can easily recall most of my friends, boys and girls alike, were always talking, planning on colleges, careers, and retirement. And that, friends, was in our senior year, 1972.
Oh well. Life is not supposed to be fair. It it were, I wouldn’t be writing this story. Neither would pain, disappointment and depression-based stories be published by highly-acclaimed literature giants like John Steinbeck, Edgar Allan Poe, J.D.Salinger and Hunter Thompson. I believe it was always intended for life to be unbalanced. Unfair. All of us cannot be famous, rich, or powerful. I cannot believe that I just said that. What an easy, self-rationalized statement for settling with a second-class life, job, and place in life.
Anyway. And not to continue to ‘cry in my beer,’ (since I don‘t drink anymore and if I did, it would be illegal in my hometown), I would love to share with you, one more secret dream that I have kept to myself for many years--afraid that my family and society at large would not understand or accept what I would really love to be: A Breck Shampoo model. There. I said it. The proverbial ‘cat is out of the bag.’ What a heavy weight has been lifted from my shoulders (not Lennux Lewis either), I started to say (Head and) shoulders. See? I was destined to be a Breck Shampoo model.
I know that you are shocked. Stunned. Probably amazed at my fantasy. I cannot help that. This is 2011--a day of social reform, acceptance, and sensitivity. I just ask that you hear me out as I explain why I’ve always wanted to be a Breck Shampoo model. And maybe, when you are finished with this story, you might dig up that secret fantasy occupation that you have kept hidden away for years ( a lion tamer; hairdresser or dance instructor) and share it with us. I tell you. It’s very therapeutic.
Breck Shampoo models paved the way, pioneered and established the missionary routes for all of the models on the catwalk, television, and in high-ended fashion shows in Paris, New York, and Los Angeles today. That’s right. Somewhere on Madison Avenue, New York, home of huge advertising agencies and conglomerates such as J. Walter Thompson that dominate the landscape, a fast-thinking ad designer in a dimly-lit room is sitting staring at his naked drawing board. The ad agency he works for has just landed the biggest ad account on record: Breck Shampoo. These people are pro’s. Head hunters. When they spend millions on advertising, they expect many millions to come back to their company. They mean business.
Suddenly, as if an angel from God’s throne has descended to this unknown ad designer’s side, he looks up with a look of inspiration. His face is shining almost like the Biblical Moses when he came down from Mount Sinai with the Ten Commandments. This guy has hit pay dirt. His hands begin to work frantically, swift as the wind as if he is putting out a fire. His eyes are totally-focused on the drawing board with overhead light and his idea will not only please the Breck Shampoo executives (who control his very life with their decision of liking or not liking his idea), but make for him a hefty bonus that will feed his family and put his kids through school, maybe college if he manages his huge bonus.
The obscure, unknown ad designer’s idea is to feature only beautiful women with beautiful hair in all of Breck Shampoo’s ads--television, billboards, and leading women’s magazines. It’s a flash of brilliance. His imagination goes into fiery levels of ad copy writing and ad design with various beautiful blond (later brunette) women’s head shots and underneath their pictures a simple, easily-understood wording such as: “I’m beautiful thanks to Breck Shampoo. Ladies, you don’t have to be a Breck Shampoo model to be beautiful. Just use Breck Shampoo.” Case closed. In the next morning’s meeting with the stuffy and powerful Breck Shampoo executives, who all smoke expensive cigars, their eyes are wide-open and mouths agape when they first see this unknown ad designer’s Breck Shampoo model ad campaign ideas. The Breck executives first look at the unknown ad designer’s boss, the managing partner of this no-name ad agency that is trying to make a name for itself, then look back at the lay-outs and look at the unknown ad designer and yell, “Eureka! This is it, son! Marvelous! Just what we were wanting!” The unknown ad designer, we will call him, “Bobby,” is ready to faint. He turns pale. His hands shake. The Breck executives pat him on the back, offer to buy him lunch at one of New York’s most-expensive restaurants. Some of the Breck executives want to introduce him to their pretty, wealthy, unmarried daughter. In the short distance of one night, and with only a flicker of an idea from somewhere unseen, “Bobby’s” obscure, mediocre life has suddenly changed. Changed in a flash of a moment. “Bobby” has never dreamed this big before. He is breathless as the Breck executives sign a multi-year contract with his ad agency, but with one stipulation: “Bobby,” gets to be the lead ad executive on their ad campaigns.
That’s how I believe it all started for all of the Breck Shampoo models. From “Bobby’s” drawing board to national exposure. Breck Shampoo models were not created. They were born overnight into America’s households where average women, homemakers, turned their own unrecognizable looks into something of wonder. Their husbands fell in love with them again. These once-unknown housewives, who believed the ads from “Bobby” and looking at the Breck Shampoo models, were now taken out to dinner, shows, dancing and walks in the park. That’s just how powerful a Breck Shampoo model was in those days.
I guess that would be my first reason for wanting to be a Breck Shampoo model. The power in my appearance. Yes, how I look--wearing Breck Shampoo, how it makes my hair have that luster and body, would surely influence many women to be like “me.” Nothing wrong with a positive role-(Breck Shampoo) model is there? Actually I do have the correct head shape that would, if I had hair, would be perfect for an ad in any Breck Shampoo magazine, billboard or television campaign. This is why Breck loves me. For my correct head shape.
My second reason for wanting to be a Breck Shampoo model is that I take directions and orders from people easily. You see, I’ve been married to the same woman for 36 plus years. That in itself should explain how smooth that I follow orders. And with modeling Breck Shampoo, I know going in that there will be a certain amount of me being able to follow orders from directors, photographers and ad designers. No problem, Breck. Where do I sign?
My third reason for wanting to be a Breck Shampoo model, or correctly-stated, a “Breck Girl,” is that I love attention. I dearly love being the center of attention at family holiday dinners; birthday parties--even when it’s not my birthday; outdoor sporting events such as college football and even when I shop at my local Walmart Super Center in Hamilton, Alabama. I love attention. This gives me a chance to say nice, upbeat things to people around me. And you thought it was because I was self-absorbed. No “Breck Girl” worth her suds can and will not ever be guilty of being self-absorbed.
My fourth reason for wanting to be a “Breck Girl,” is that I think, no, I believe, that I would look good in women’s make-up. Lipstick, rouge, foundation, eyeliner, mascara. Bring it. I can handle it. This, in no way, threatens my manhood. To me, only real men can wear women’s clothing (I didn’t say panties, bra, or hosiery. I do have limits), and make-up and not flinch with embarrassment. That’s me. When I was in the workforce, I had a manager at the local newspaper where we worked, the JOURNAL RECORD, who loved to humiliate me all in good fun. I never knew then that his degrading jokes he pulled on me was just primary training to be a “Breck Girl.” Life IS an amazing maze of cosmic twists. Right?
I could say that my fifth reason for luring me to be a “Breck Girl,” is fame. Honest. Plain and simple. I would love to be famous. I am not two-faced. I am not going to say some senseless, jellyfish structured statement like, “Fame? Oh, giggle, giggle. I do NOT want fame. That is the tool of satan,” that is a lie. I do want fame. I want to be seen on television, in magazines, newspapers and even in those subway billboards in New York. I am ready, Breck Shampoo. In case Breck executives are reading this, my phone number is: 1/205/921/4159. Honest. This is my number. I am available. I promise you, the good-hearted fans, that I will not allow my head to swell two sizes for letting fame come into my life. I will be as I am now. Humble, mostly-selfless and caring. I will even pay for your airline ticket for you to come to where I live, maybe New York, or maybe, London, for a visit. We will spend the day talking about how it feels to be a male-playing-a-female “Breck Girl.” And we will eat low-calorie sugar cookies, sip home-ground tea from India and meditate for a couple of hours to clear our heads. What a time we will have.
My sixth and final reason I have for dreaming of being a “Breck Shampoo” model is that I like to travel. That is a sickness with me. Even getting to go to my doctor’s appointment I have each month in Tupelo, Mississippi, is a treat. Now do not get confused. I do love staying at home alone while my wife Pam works at our local Walmart SuperCenter, for I have Accelerated Fibromyalgia and Neuropathy that is incurable, but even these muscular and skeletal diseases will not stop me from traveling from state-to-state even out of the country to represent Breck Shampoo. I can grin and bear the pain with the best of them. I welcome this challenge. Traveling for Breck Shampoo means I get to see New York, Philadelphia, Ontario, Dallas, Omaha, Phoenix and Los Angeles all for the first time in my life. Traveling would easily be my sixth reason for wanting (so desperately) to be an honored Breck Shampoo model. Or “Breck Girl,” titles do not matter to me.
With my six reasons of wanting to work for Breck Shampoo, I suppose you noticed that I didn’t mention cash or yearly-salary. That is because I am willing to do this unusual job, a first for men everywhere, of being a “Breck Girl,” for HALF of what super-models like Tyra Banks charge per hour for their strutting. But I probably will not have to model any clothing for Breck Shampoo, but I am up for the daunting challenge. In the Breck Shampoo ads which I appear, my rate will be HALF what the normal, super-talented female model would charge. I would even, in the presence of a team of lawyers representing me and Breck, sign any and all papers to that effect. And with saving my money, I could donate a huge chuck to my church in Hamilton, Alabama, the Hope Alive Worship Center. No, you probably haven’t heard of it, but they would benefit from my super-unusual job as a male “Breck Girl,” and that is a promise.
Finally, I would love to sit and chat (in full wardrobe including blond wig, make-up and glitzy evening gown) with David Letterman or Jay Leno. The crowd would think that this is a comed gag. How surprised they will be when the pubic relations director for Breck Shampoo also walks onto the set with me and tells their audiences that this is not a gag, but the real thing--a man “Breck Girl” and how even more-well-known I have helped to make the name of Breck Shampoo to the nation as well as the world. Letterman will be shocked and not pop off any smart alec lines at me for being so amazed. Leno will be the same way.
Listen. If you knew me well, you would know this fact: When I come up with an idea such as me being a “Breck Girl,” you would know right off that I am totally-serious. I mean what I say and write. Just as in my story I published on HubPages about “selling the space on my now-bald head to a huge corporation for $300,000.00 a year for their logo,” I meant that. And I mean this too.
My thinking is this. And not hard to understand.
I survived the 80’s with all the music changes, fashion and national politics. I was one of the first to see Culture Club perform on MTV with their song, “Do You Really Wan to Hurt Me,” and I was amazed. Not surprised. I knew way back then that an idea would come to me just like it did in this story where “Bobby,” the once-unknown ad designer for his ad agency, who launched the Breck Shampoo model idea. And it did.
I figure that if Boy George can pull off his dressing like a woman, so can I?
Breck Shampoo, I am waiting.