Can Feminism Sell Beauty Products?

We're done with pitting women against each other.  Here's why.

Image c/o NARS Cosmetics for Erdem Spring 2016
 
News flash: marketers are realizing that using feminist ideas to promote their products can be very profitable. Whether its Always’ #Likeagirl or Dove’s Campaign for Real Beauty, these ads offer inspiring feminist messages. And what's more? Marketers know that some of the admiration and warm fuzzies that you get from said empowerment becomes directed towards their brand. A classic bait-and-switch… but should we really reprimand this behaviour?

Without a doubt, the messages in these campaigns are relevant. They seem to be promoting the idea that women should love their bodies and not define themselves my male-centric beauty standards. It’s awesome that these ideals are become normalized on such a large scale. But at the end of the day, the goal for these companies is to sell you their products. They see that as more people come to identify as feminists, the more people will seek products that reflect their diverse values; hence, a new marketable demographic. Is it exploitation? In a way, since they are mobilizing a social movement based on inequality to turn a profit. This also means the messages can lack sincerity. Maybe these campaigns are pitched in a room full of privileged men, only admiring the strategy for the profit it will turn.

But at the same time, in an industry that is predominantly saturated with homogenous beauty standards, ‘feminist ads’ are promoting equality. In my opinion, any normalization of ideals that empower and inspire women is fantastic, or at the very least, it is better than the alternatives, like promoting unrealistic body image or non-diversified looks. So yes, you’ve got me, you beauty marketers! I will buy your products that were sold to me through feminist driven campaigns! I will do it because you are actually doing me a service, not just with your product but through your proliferation of the ideas that I (and many so many others) value. Whether it’s for your profit or not, you’re improving the world, and I’m down to join you.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR
WHO: Christine , Beauty Contributor at Couturesque magazine
WHERE: Toronto
OBSESSED WITH: Rihanna's Suede Puma Creepers
CAN BE FOUND AT: @c_braaadshaw


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I founded Couturesque Magazine when I was 15 years old because like many of my peers, I felt ignored and talked down to by all of the other teen fashion publications out there. I figured that at the end of the day, the people who knew the most about my generation, were the people who belonged to it. The fashion industry is becoming increasingly dependent on the creativity of younger voices who challenge the status quo and make us rethink what we wear and why we wear it. And that is exactly what Couturesque set out to celebrate - authenticity, intelligence, originality, and diversity... in other words, what makes Gen-Z tick. Fast-forward to 2016 and we now have a staff of more than a dozen fashion distruptors contributing to our daily content from all around the globe, 100K+ readers following us from Toronto to New York, to London, Copenhagen, Berlin, Tokyo, and Tel Aviv, and a plethora of big-wig industry fans and collaborators. But what matters to us the most is the responsibility that our publication has to make a positive impact in the lives of those who come across it - we stand against retouching our photoshoots and we stand for sharing the beautiful, individual, complex voices of everyone, especially those who feel marginalized by mainstream fashion media. We hope that you love our site as much as we do and that you take the time to follow us (Facebook / Twitter / Instagram / Pinterest / Tumblr / Snapchat / YouTube) throughout our journey to make fashion accessible to the powerful young adults of today.

xo,
Tia Elisabeth Glista
Editor in Chief