In my Retail Management class, we learnt that beauty products are often placed near the entrances of departmental stores / on their ground floors, precisely because they are impulse products. How many of us can attest to that? I know I can.
Recently, I stumbled across an article that might help explain why women all over the world spend good money for beauty products. The article “Flattery Will Get an Ad Nowhere” by Pamela Paul, is based on the paper “The Self-Activation Effect of Advertisements: Ads Can Affect Whether and How Consumers Think About the Self,” by Debra Trampe, Diederik A. Stapel and Frans W. Siero, The Journal of Consumer Research.
I thought it was too interesting not to share.
APPARENTLY it doesn’t take much to make a girl feel plain. Just looking at an object intended to enhance beauty makes women feel worse about themselves, according to a study from the April 2011 issue of The Journal of Consumer Research.
The study looked at how women responded to an image of something (say, a high-heeled shoe) depicted in an advertisement and as a simple photograph with no advertising context. According to the authors — led by Debra Trampe, an assistant professor of marketing at the University of Groningen in the Netherlands — advertised products, unlike unadvertised products, affect both whether and how the viewer thinks of herself afterward. In other words, an image of the high-heeled shoe in a stylish advertisement is likely to trigger a sense of inadequacy.
Of course, you’d anticipate ads featuring Lara Stone and Chanel Iman would make most women feel less than lovely. But here’s an interesting catch: the ads in the study did not feature human beings, or the model approximation thereof. While social-comparison theory holds that people gain information about themselves by looking at other people, according to this study at least, they also gain information about themselves by comparing themselves to objects.
In four different experiments with female undergraduates, beauty products were divided into two categories: beauty enhancing, such as mascara and perfume, and problem solving, such as acne cream and deodorant. One group of students was shown ads for both types of products; another group was shown simple images of both, without advertising.
Those who were shown advertised beauty-enhancing products were likely to think about themselves more afterward than other women would. Perhaps not such a big deal. But the thoughts they had about themselves (when asked questions such as “How attractive do you find yourself?” and “How satisfied are you with your body?”) were decidedly gloomier.
In advertising, implicature refers to the implicit message carried out by an image in an ad. The presence of a cashmere scarf next to a lipstick, for example, can imply luxury and softness. This is established Madison Avenue thinking.
But, the authors suggest, the very fact of the ad itself also conveys meaning to consumers. According to the study, “advertisements displaying beauty-enhancing (rather than problem-solving) products are likely to remind consumers of their own shortcomings.” This, in turn, makes them view themselves more negatively. The authors quote Christopher Lasch, who back in the 1970s said “modern” advertising “seeks to create needs, not to fulfill them; it generates new anxieties instead of allaying old ones.”
What does this mean, other than a plummeting sense of self-esteem after putting down a fashion magazine? “You might expect that a deflated sense of self could lead to lower buying intentions,” said Dr. Trampe, a question she plans to explore further. Or, perhaps, the true basis for “shopping therapy.”
So the next time you (and I) think we should buy that new miracle product, maybe we should think twice.
Side Note: You know what else makes you buy more? Facials. Suddenly (or maybe not so suddenly), you have all sorts of skin problems that must be remedied immediately, like dark eye-circles, etc. But then again, maybe they just highlight what problems you had, that you were previously blind to. Whatever it is, I think I need me some eye-gel, pronto.
Congrats to everyone who has finished with their exams. I am still toiling on.
2 more (potential) disasters to go on Monday and Tuesday, before I hit the gym and hit Batam the following day.
I am still getting used to and delighting in my Cambridge Satchel, and promised not to shop anymore, but it is proving hard to resist the temptation to browse. I am keeping things on tabs by rationalising that I am just planning my Xmas/New Year purchases before hand.
Way before hand.
In any case, I am just glad I make it through today without concussing. Last night, I fell asleep while reading my cultural psychology class notes. Then I had strange dreams about me breaking my wrist, and ending up in a hospital where they told me I had high blood sugar levels or something (and I had this strange and totally inexplicable fear that they would catch me for imbibing some illegal substances). Before I could find out, my mom woke me up at 6am to yell at me for not switching off the lights. But how could I when I didn’t even realise I fell asleep?
There is a point to this post, which is to share this strangely alluring yet terrifying creepy editorial featured in Tatler HK May 2010.
Shot by Baldovino Barani & styled by Holly Suan Gray.
(sidenote: maybe these are the kinds of things that cause one to have strange dreams, especially when seen before bed)
Not gonna lie, I do feel genuinely perturbed by this editorial. Styling is great though.
More scans at the source, foto_decadent
Spring is in the air, and ready to wear. (That rhymed, right, right?)
Taking a few minutes to browse through some collections and decided to share.
From Alice+Olivia: Fun, vibrant, fun and completely age-appropriate to wear. Although, I could have done without the jarring orange lipstick.
From Miu Miu: a collection inspired by society’s obsession with fame. I guess all those pops of bright hues make perfect sense. I’m honestly interested in seeing how these pieces get translated by blogshops and the likes, since many of these pieces work on a balance of quality, fit and proportion. Tip the balance a bit, and I think they may come off dowdy instead.
This is a few days old (I should know since I’ve had the same tab of her gorgeousness open since forever).
Rachel McAdams looking gorgeously styled in Instyle magazine. The editorial styling is absolutely lovely.
- pink lips
- vintage inspired hair and eyeliner (you know how I love my winged eyeliner look)
- valentino lace gown is gorgeous
- purple skirt looks like it belongs with my hair
Photos via ontd
I feel like watching ‘The Notebook’ again. It gets me crying every time.
The only thing worthy of an update is…that I gave into temptation and bought asos!
Sharing a peek at my loot.
Can’t wait to make exciting outfits with these (:
In other news, it looks like Cookie Monster is a no-go. I am now accepting suggestions for other easy costume ideas.
I confess I’m not a big fan of animal prints. I can never shake off the ‘tacky’ feeling that haunts me whenever I think of wearing it. No, it’s not really for me. Sure, it looks good on some people, but it can so easily go wrong.
Not with this lady.
Kudos to her for making animal print look chic, easy and light as air.
On a more personal note…
I am so glad to be taking a breather from school. Not that this breather will last long, but at least the pressure has eased up a little (for the next 1-2 hours). The past few days have been painfully stressed for me and a terrible time to fall prey to the flu virus.
I don’t know who reads this blog, but according to wordpress, there are people out there who do. Anyway, for all those suffering through midterms, hang in there, good luck and you are not alone!
In the mean time, my body needs rest, my medication is making me feel drowsy and I have to:
1. Submit my Ogilvy application
2. Read up on 1984 and Brave New World (which if you haven’t read, you should; they are good books!)
3. Submit my Unilever application.
Mulberry is probably best known round these parts for the ‘Alexa’ and now it comes in a new shade- powder beige. The ‘Sparkle Tweed Alexa’. Quite yummy, isn’t it?
But what I really like, is their new laptop sleeves for Apple. To Die For.
How fantastic is the Bayswater (with a padded section for your laptop)! I would carry it everywhere. Classic Chic.
Ohmy, but laptop sleeves in leather- sexy. I love leather. Leather & Laptops = love.
Pictures via Mulberry.
I gave into temptation and more and got myself the Perfect Sunglasses & the Maxi Dress I previously blogged about.
P.S, isnt her hair quite the sex?
In the meantime, the weather is scorching hot, the air condition is switched on (in the middle of the day!), and I am lusting for Popeye’s but am too lazy to venture out to procure.
How’s your weekend?
Black on black layering. Awesome.
Have a good (early) weekend guyszzzz