Health (‘helth)(n.) the condition of being sound in body, mind, or spirit Example: “She was in good health.”
Healthing (‘helth-ing)(v.) a gerund-nonsense form of the noun “health,” created by the Lysol marketing team. Example: “It’s not cleaning, it’s healthing.”
Lysol wants to convince you, once again, like every other chemical or single-use-product manufacturer, that your home is wrought with disease and you are a filthy, filthy cretin barely fit for human society. But you can be saved (of course)! Lysol’s new ad campaign is a social studies teacher’s wet dream, chock-full of so many examples of propaganda techniques, that there’s an entire day’s lesson plan right here. (You’re welcome, my overworked compatriots in education.)
– “Are you cleaning or healthing?” In using, ahem, MAKING UP, this word “healthing,” Lysol wants you to associate their brand not with cleaning, but being healthy. (Um, this is painfully obvious, but someone got paid a lot of money for this genius plan. I’ll give them the benefit of the doubt that there is a consumer out there going, “Ohhhhhhhh! Those tricksters! They done got me a-gin!”) You can download “The Official Healthing Guidebook,” which is really just a bunch of graphic ads and catchphrases containing the word HEALTH repeated so many times it’s obnoxious.
– “LYSOL is proud to have partnered with numerous groups and Centers of the CDC since 1998 in an effort to help promote health and hygiene both in the U.S. and around the world.” People, this does not mean the CDC endorses Lysol. It means Lysol funds THEM.
– “Families Everywhere Are Healthing” When you click on “In Your Community,” a giant ticker of the [supposed] thousands of families using Lysol products appears. And don’t forget to join these families on Facebook, where I’m sure everyone is dishing about their latest “healthing” spree!
– Take the quiz on Healthing and you’ll find out whether what you’re doing in your home is leading to true “health,” or frothy sludge piles. The “quiz” (which is not really an assessment of anything, but we knew that) plays out like a condescending parent quizzing a messy toddler, with questions akin to, “Would you rather wipe your heiney with toilet paper or get poopie on your hands?” In each scenario, you’d be a jackass if you didn’t choose the “healthing” way. Lysol doesn’t SAY you need their product to have a healthy home, but that’s what they’re IMPLYING. They have programs for schools (germ-fests!), newborns (weak and vulnerable!), and disaster relief (exposed to the elements!). The sentiment seems to be that Lysol will keep your kids from getting sick at school, your newborn free of disease, and will help you after a disaster. A miracle in a bottle, y’all!
Watch the vid (well, don’t, really, unless you’re up for wasting two minutes of your life) which tells us that Lysol is the number-one pediatrician-recommended brand. Huh. “Spray a little Lysol on that wart; should take care of it. Little trick I picked up in med school.” What authority do pediatricians hold on chemical cleansers, honestly?
So, here’s the thing: disinfectants are necessary–IN HOSPITALS. (Although the inappropriate use of disinfectants in hospitals has been leading to superbugs, or drug-resistant bacteria.) In schools, there is sometimes a need (like when the wrestling team contracts MRSA). However, Lysol’s products that are being marketed to you, for your home, are COMPLETELY UNNECESSARY (read another article on disinfectants causing superbugs). The best way to kill bacteria? Handwashing. Soap and water. And not antibacterial soap, for god’s sake. Just use regular, old castile soap. If you really feel the need to sanitize, you can make your own hand sanitizer. Wanna kill bacteria on countertops and doorknobs? Straight vinegar. Spray it on. Let it air dry. In short, why introduce more chemicals (solvents, surfacants, fragrances, labeled “not toxic” or not) into the atmosphere of your home when you don’t have to? Why let a marketing scam INSTEAD OF YOUR BRAIN guide your decisions? Just don’t buy this propaganda from Lysol.