Objectify Me: Marian Bantjes and her toothbrush
For a while now I’ve been ranting about the inexplicable over-design of toothbrushes. Why the toothbrush of all things, has been lavished with unnecessary inlaid plastic, rubbery bits and detailed parts had me worked up to such a degree that I was preparing to write an article about it. In preparation, I went out and bought several toothbrushes, including the most expensive, complex one I could find. I decided, in fairness, I should try it out.
The moment I took it out of its package I was surprised by how perfectly it fit in my hand. Rubber ribs nestled just below the knuckle of my index finger; the unusual curve of the handle fell below my pinky, encouraging my hand into an elegant, natural form. It seemed to almost propel my fingers back and forth in a brushing motion. Then I got it in my mouth. The bristles seemed to snuggle over my molars with a massaging hug. The bizarre rubbery bits inside the bristles made obvious and satisfying contact with the top of the tooth. And the strange, nubbly mat on the reverse side from the bristles gently scrubbed inside my cheek: double action! As I brushed, the feeling was unlike anything I’ve ever had with another toothbrush: it was pleasurable, sensuous and assuredly effective. I was astonished, as this previously tedious task was transformed into one of life’s daily pleasures.
If everything in our lives were afforded the design attention that my toothbrush has, we would sit in chairs that floated while tickling our troubled backs, have tables that yielded at our aching elbows while remaining firm on top, walk on floors that tingled like active sand, and sleep on pillows that would never allow our ears to flatten against our heads.
For now, I will simply brush my teeth.
– Marian Bantjes
Marian Bantjes is a designer, typographer and artist-thing working internationally from her home base on an island off the west coast of Canada.