I thought I was saying something funny when I commented on a friend's curly hairstyle. "You're the twin with the Toni," I told her.
"Huh?" was her response. So I launched into: "You know, the Toni twins, the home hair permanents called Toni? Remember the television ads where one twin went through the 'humidity chamber' and came out with drooping curls and one came out with her hairdo still perfect? She was the one who had the Toni!"
"Never heard of it," she said, giving me that "Bon's gone around the bend" look.
Well, of course she hadn't heard of the Toni twins. She's 35 years old and I watched those commercials more than 55 years ago.
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One person who does remember those ads is Al Higdon, Mr. Advertising himself.
I asked him if he thought they were good commercials. "Well, yes, you still remember them 50 years later and you remember the product name and that they were advertising home permanents," he said.
It appears from my extensive research (Google) that the print ads started around 1948 when a Toni home perm cost a whopping $2. At that time, the Toni twins were brunette.
But by the time I saw the TV ads at the age of 4 or 5 in the early '50s, the twins were very blond. I thought they were awesome, even though that currently overused word wasn't even a part of my vocabulary at the time.
I even had, and still have, a Toni doll that looked like the blond twins. The Toni doll came with little curlers so you could do her hair, but Mom made it clear you could not give her an actual perm.
It's a wonder that doll has any hair left. I remember thinking the outfit she came with was too young-looking. The Toni twins were probably 20, after all. They wouldn't wear a pinafore dress. Seems the age-appropriate fashion dilemma bothered me at a very early age.
This whole subject has me wondering which ads will be remembered a half-century from now — especially considering there are so many we're trying to forget.
For example: "Where's the beef?" and "Don't squeeze the Charmin."
Get your nomination in! —Have you sent in your nomination for a woman or a man to get a makeover? It's time for the sixth annual Wichita Eagle Makeover!
Judges will select three women and three men who will each receive a terrific free head-to-toe makeover.
Participating salons are Charisma Salon, Planet Hair and Salon Knotty. Women's clothing will be provided by Aspen Boutique, Pink Saloon and K-Lane's. Three retailers will provide the three men's clothing. More retailers and special services will be revealed next week.
Here's the scoop:
The six winners' new looks will be unveiled at a big event, the Sisterhood of the Divine Makeover, on June 26 at the Wichita Marriott. The event is a benefit for Dress for Success, a charitable organization that provides professional attire, mentoring, life skills and other resources necessary to find a job.
If you're not one of the six makeover winners, you'll have a chance for an on-the-spot makeover at the luncheon. The lucky winner will get a new hairstyle and makeup by Eric Fisher and an outfit from Wild at Heart. Such a deal!
How to enter or nominate someone for a free makeover:
* Send a photo taken no longer than six months ago, one you don't need returned. (You may e-mail a photo, but the judges prefer a color printed photo.)
* Include your name, age, occupation and phone numbers, including a daytime contact number.
* Tell us briefly why you want a makeover.
* Agree to be available for the appointments at the salons and the retailers. (They will work with your schedule.)
* Agree to be featured in The Wichita Eagle if you are one of the six winners.
* Attend the luncheon June 27 when all the winners are unveiled. (The winners will be our guests.)
* Be available June 8 or 9 for a quick "before" photograph at The Wichita Eagle, 825 E. Douglas.
* Submit your entry by 5 p.m. June 5. Judges will choose the winners on June 8, and I will contact the winners that afternoon.
* Mail entries to: Bonnie Bing, The Wichita Eagle, 825 E. Douglas, Wichita, KS 67201.
* Or e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
How to purchase tickets for the Sisterhood of the Divine Makeover Luncheon
Tickets for the luncheon, with all proceeds going to Dress for Success, are $40. A table for 10 is $400. For tickets, call 316-945-8779.