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Beauty in the Age of Marketing

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BEAUTY IN THE AGE OF MARKETING

Bingqing Yin and Susie Pryor

Contact person:
Susie Pryor Bingqing Yin
Assistant Professor Master’s student
School of Business School of Business
Washburn University Washburn University
1700 S. W. College 1700 S. W. College
Topeka, KS 66621 Topeka, KS 66621
Phone: 785-670-1601 Phone: 785-670-1601
Email: susie.pryor@washburn.edu Email: bingqing.yin@washburn.edu

Beauty in the Age of Marketing

Beauty, it is said, is in the eye of the beholder. It is, accordingly, subjective and presumably both socially and culturally influenced. From a marketer’s perspective, this is a less than useful perspective, for beauty sells. A body of research suggests, for example, that physically attractive models used in advertising produce consumer expectations of accountability, dynamism and trustworthiness; therefore, marketers tend to use these models to enhance and strengthen the appeal of their advertisements and products (Atkin and Block 1983; Kamins and Gupta 1994). Physically attractive people are known to be perceived by consumers as friendly, warm, dominant, sociable, outgoing, responsive, and possessing both self-esteem and intelligence (Adams, 1977; Adams & Read, 1983; Berscheid & Walster, 1974; Bloch & Richins, 1992; Cann, Siegfried, & Pearce, 1981; Dion & Dion ,1987; Goldman & Lewis, 1977). Individuals favor and are favorably disposed towards physically attractive people (Caballero, Lumpkin & Madden, 1989). More broadly, research in other fields finds physical attractiveness both a determinant and moderator of various processes including heterosexual liking (Berscheid, Dion, Walster, & Walster, 1971; Walster, Aronson, Abrahams, & Rottman, 1966), individuals’ perception and evaluation (Sigall & Landy, 1973; Sigall & Aronson, 1969; Sigall, Page, & Brown, 1971), persuasion effectiveness (Mills & Aronson, 1965) and attributions of personal characteristics and future success (Clifford & Walster, in press; Dion, Berscheid, & Walster, 1972; Miller, 1970). It is therefore not surprising that physical attractiveness has become a major component of consumer marketing, Beauty is power. What is surprising is the lack of theoretical development in the field, and that becomes apparent when beauty is conceptualized not as an independent variable but as a marketing construct. Understanding consumers’ perceptions of beauty, particularly in a complex, global marketplace, has become increasingly strategically important.
The pursuit of beauty is apparent throughout centuries and across cultures. Consumers, especially female consumers, use cosmetics, adornments, clothes, and even plastic surgery to increase and enhance their physical attractiveness (Bloch & Richins, 1992). In daily life, consumers are confronted with advertisements in which products -- varying from cosmetics and clothes to cars and television sets -- are promoted by attractive models and studies provide empirical support for the validity of this marketing approach (Berscheid and Walster, 1974; Belch, Belch and Villareal 1987; Bower 2001; Buunk & Dijkstra, 2011; Clifford and Walster,1973; Chaiken, 1979; Dion, Berscheid, and Walster, 1972; Horai, Naccari and Fatoullah, 1974; Joseph 1982; Landy and Sigall, 1974; Miller, 1970).
Taken as a whole, the literature offers substantial evidence that beauty is an important construct. The literature also suggests areas of general consensus. One, beauty is usefully employed in the promotion of products, both in mass advertising and at point of purchase. Two, consumer attributions related to beauty are multidimensional and favorable. Three, these two axioms hold true across the globe. From a theoretical viewpoint, the literature on beauty has made several key contributions. It has developed a set of important outcome variables. It has tested relationships in a variety of contexts and through a variety of methodological approaches and effectively established nomological validity that allows us to accept these results as robust. Some work has explored cultural differences in consumer perceptions of work, laying the foundations for future work in this area. Other work has established a broad understanding of the features which contribute to human physical beauty.
However, there is a relative paucity of work which sets out to provide a coherent theory of beauty. We lack, for example, a common language with which to work. The proliferation of inexact and variable usage of terms such as beauty, physical attractiveness, aesthetics, and other similar words confounds our task. The purpose of this paper is to begin to examine beauty as a complex marketing construct in order to provide the basis for theoretical development in this area. The paper is organized as follows. We begin the process of defining terms, each of which may present its own avenue for future theoretical development. These include beauty, attractiveness, and aesthetics. We then focus more narrowly on physical attractive and review findings in the literature, in order to suggest how the extant research might be assimilated to begin the process of construct development. Finally, we suggest how research may wish to undertake the task of exploring beauty in the age of marketing.

Defining beauty, attractiveness, and aesthetics Beauty is commonly considered a characteristic of individuals, objects, and places that is perceived pleasurably. It is studied in diverse fields such as sociology and anthropology (people and animals), art and aesthetics (objects), and tourism studies (places). It is a term which is unique and independent from other related terms, such as attractiveness and aesthetic. Beauty is colloquially defined as “attractiveness” in advertising and marketing research, and has been measured on a continuum from attractive to unattractive (Langmeyer & shank 1994). Arguably, beauty is, however, more than a simple judgment of attractiveness. Beauty is psychologically complex and reflects multiple dimensions which provide for the inclusion of facets of beauty that are described by consumers in varied terms, such as cute, elegant, sexy, etc. (Solomon, Ashmore & Longo, 1992). This multiplex conceptualization makes the continuum approach problematic. Physical attractiveness generally includes the individual’s analysis of specific characteristics including facial image, body proportion and shape and skin tone (Langmeyer and Shank 1994). For practical purposes, a common categorization in the field of advertising assessing physical attractives across six interrelated psycho-logical distinctions or differentiations including (1) Classic Beauty/ Feminine, (2) Sensual/Exotic, (3) Sex-Kitten, (4) Trendy, (5) Cute, and (6) Girl-Next-Door” (Solomon, Ashmore & Longo 1992).Physical attractiveness, then, is a term related to, but unique from, beauty. The term aesthetics concerns the nature of beauty, creation, and appreciation of beauty. Parcing the term aesthics from that of beauty may be particualy theoretically important in marketing from a global perspective. It is common to allude to, for example, the Western aesthetic, the Islamic aesthetic, or the post-modern aesthetic. (For an interesting overview, see Wikipedia on this topic.)
Material Adornments Use and Tattoo Throughout centuries and across cultures, people have used adornments in their pursuit of beauty (Bloch and Richins, 1992), and people adorn their bodies in various ways by covering fashionable or desirable parts graciously to achieve beauty or for aesthetic effect ( Scott,n.d. ). Empirical studies have shown that adornment usage, which is positively related to physical beauty, enhances attractiveness and perceptions of femininity (Cash, 1988; Cash & Cash 1982; Graham & Jouhar, 1981; Guthrie, Kim & Jung, 2006; Hoult 1954; Hamid 1972). Moreover, adornment usage affects self –esteem and social power (Adams & Read, 1983).
Adornments such as nail items, tattoos, hair styles, jewels, shoes and other grooming and beauty enhancing products have flooded the beauty market. Hundreds of millions of dollars are spent every year by companies to persuade customers to remain fashionale in order to fulfill their desire of both of material level of self-satisfaction and physical level of attractiveness. In addition to financial expenditures, consumers – particularly women -- are willing to suffer physical pain to fit a certain type of social expectation of beauty (Bloch and Richins, 1992). For example, women wear uncomfortable high heels to fit the social standard of beauty and enhance feelings of confidence and attractiveness (Solmon & Schopler, 1982). As one of the major components in the pursuit of beauty, clothing presents an individual’s image. Fashion appeal is a non-verbal communication (Vanderholf 1988) that presents an individual’s personality (Behling& Williams, 1991), through which the observer can assume the wearer’s emotional, educational, moral, economic and social status (Faiola & Pullen, 1982). Appeal acts as an adaptive function (Creekmore, 1974) that can help improve an individual’s self image. Tattoos serve as a special and unique way to express beauty and have been favored by people from different regions and cultures (Busch, 1995; Bell, 1999). Historically, tattoos have been associated with criminals, those of lower socioeconomic status, “freaks”, sailors and exotic “savages” (Govenar, 2000; Orend & Gagné, 2009). In the 1960s and 1970s, the popularity of tattoos increased. These period became known as the “Tattoo Renaissance” due to the efforts of a number of respected and skilled artists (Rubin, 1988; Vail, 2000). Today in western society, the tattoo has become a widespread phenomenon with nearly 15% of Americans from all walks of life using tattoos for self expression (Armstrong ,1991; Sever, 2003; Orend & Gagné, 2009). People get tattoos for many different reasons, but the common theme is to be exotic, unique and special (Armstrong, 1991; Armstrong, Owen, Roberts and Koch, 2002).
Cosmetics Use Consumers, typically women, use cosmetic products to enhance their appearance and create a “positive declaration of the self,” and “ inscribe attributes to [one’s] personality” (Craik, 1993) and promote self-esteem (Creekmore, 1974). The application of make-up allows consumers to quickly and temporarily change their appearance. Commonly used cosmetics such as eyeliner, mascara, foundation, eye shadow and blush serve as a quick, easy and means to improve facial attractiveness and hence strengthen self-confidence (Miller & Cox, 1982). Improving physical attractiveness is one of the main reasons women apply cosmetics (Guthrie, Kim & Jung, 2006). According to research, women wearing make-up express a more positive body and self-image and show more confidence than women not wearing make-up (Cash & Cash, 1982). Certain cultural and social standards of beauty and the perceived rewards for being physical attractive have pressured more and more women to apply cosmetics to change their appearance in order to conform to idealized social and cultural beauty standards and expectations (Kelson, Kearney-Cooke, and Lansky, 1990). With the promise that cosmetics present an ideal image, women believe that cosmetics will transform them and lift their self-confidence to a higher level (Bloch & Richins, 1992). For example, using cosmetics such as foundation or concealer can help women conceal blemishes, using eyeliner and eye shadow can give eyes more definition, using lip gloss can enhance the color of lips to make them look fuller and more sensuous. Researchers have found out that women who identify with more traditional roles are more likely to apply cosmetics to achieve beauty (Forbes, Jung & Haas, n.d.), cosmetic usage is positively correlated with facial satisfaction (Cash and Cash, 1982), and that females who wear make-up have more overall appearance satisfaction, believe that they receive more attention than they would otherwise receive, and are also more likely to overestimate their attractiveness when wearing make-up and underestimate their attractiveness when they do not apply make-up (Cash, Dawson, Davis & Bowen, 1989). Cosmetic brands adopt commonly understood and culturally embedded beauty standard to express to targeted groups’ desirable images of beauty (Guthrie, Kim & Jung, 2006.). The influence of these brands and their advertising has been felt globally. For example, before 1910, women in Japan presented a traditional image of covering their face with lead-based white powder, but after 1910, western style transparent white and skin-toned powder become more commonly used (Peiss, 2002). . Increasingly, consumers choose brands in order to reflect social status as well as desired facial image (Wood, 2004). Accordingly, brand managers are advised to relate brand personality to women’s’ cosmetic purchase behaviors and perceptions of facial image to identify different marketing strategies (Jamal and Goode , 2001).
Facial image: facial proportion, facial symmetry and cultural facial preference Perception of facial beauty are affected by generic, social, cultural and environments factors (Naini, Moss & Gill, 2005). Culturally, socially, and historically subjective, issues related to facial beauty have fascinated scholars for centuries (Rhodes, Proffitt, Crady & Sumich, 1998; Gunes* & Piccardi, 2006). Facial beauty may be viewed as a combination of certain qualities which generate a sense of pleasure (Naini, Moss & Gill, 2005). Overall, facial symmetry, facial proportion and facial expression are the significant characteristics in the determination of facial beauty. Regardless of variables such as race, age and sex., a universal standard of human physical beauty is thought exist, which can be simply expressed as ideal facial proportion (Gunes* & Piccardi, 2006; Farkas et al., 1985; Farkas, 1994; Jefferson, 2004; Landau, 1989; Langlois and Roggman, 1990; Larrabee, 1997). The Divine Proportion (Jefferson, 2004), Golden Proportions (Borissavlievitch, 1985; Huntley, 1970) or the Facial Thirds (Farkas, 1994; Farkas et al., 1985; Farkas and Kolar, 1987) have been widely accepted as ideal facial proportion measurements. Faces with the ideal facial proportions are not just physically attractive but also biologically healthy (; Rhodes etc. 2001; Simposon, 1999). Researchers have noted that the level of symmetry is one of the fundamental factors that affect human face attractiveness (Gangestad, Thornhill & Yeo, 1994; Thornhill R & Gangestad, 1993). Evolutionary biologists have proposed symmetry as a sign of health and high genetic quality that may be adaptive (Palmer & Strobeck, 1986; Parsons, 1990; Thornhill and Moller, 1997; Watson & Thornhill, 1994). Moreover, facial symmetry is theorized to be a signal of mate quality (Ridley, 1992; Swaddle & Cuthill, 1995; Watson & Thornhill, 1994). Studies by Rhodes et al. (1998) report that by increasing the symmetric level of individual faces, the attractiveness of these faces can be increased and that by reducing the symmetric level, facial attractiveness can be decreased. However, some other related studies have shown that normal levels of asymmetric faces are more attractive than perfectly symmetric versions of the same faces (Kowner, 1996; Langlois, 1994). For example, research by Knowner and Langlois suggests that the average face is more attractive than the perfectly symmetric one, which comes to the conclusion that people prefer symmetric faces ( perfectly symmetric excluded) than average faces.
Facial symmetry is only one factor important to facial attractiveness (Rhodes et al. 1998). Psychologists and medical sciences have proposed that there is a timeless, ideal beauty based on facial proportion (Gunes* & Piccardi, 2006; Naini, Moss & Gill, 2005). In addition, different cultures hold their own perception of attractive facial image. For example, the ideal face image of beauty in Asian women’s perception is a tiny face with large eyes and prominent nose (Kaw 1991). An eyelid without cease and a flat nose indicate “sleepiness,” “dullness,” and “passivity” (Kaw 1991 p79).
A number of researches have showed that Asian women tend to change their face features through cosmetic surgery (Turner 1987; Rosenthal 1991; Kaw 1991, Kristof 1991) in order to acquire “symbolic capital” (Bourdieu 1984; Kaw 1991). More and more Asian women seek cosmetic surgery for double eyelids to get wider and bigger eyes and nose bridges for higher and smarter nose to avoid the stereotype oriental look and negative traits in their culture in order to be exotic and outstanding (Millard 1964; McCurdy 1990; Kaw 1991). Many Asian women accept cosmetic surgeries that are pushed by society to escape from racial prejudice that correlates with Asian stereotyped facial beauty (Kaw 1991).

Skin tone According to Frisby (2006), skin color has four substances: white, yellow (or carotene), brown (or melanin), red (also sometimes referred to as melanin). Increases in melanin darken skin tone.
Asian-Dying to be white In the Asian world, fair skin is central to understandings of physical beauty and is correlated with represent a woman’s social status, job prospects, and earnings potential (Ashikari 2003b; Goon and Craven 2003; Leslie 2004; Li, Min, Belk, Kimura and Bahl 2008). White skin, especially in south Asia, is considered both noble and aristocratic (Bray, 2002). The saying “one white covers up three ugliness” was passed though one generation after another, and women are dying for flawless milky skin to match the Asian beauty standard (Bray, 2002). Skin whitening, which can be traced back to colonialism (Goon and Craven 2003; Li, Min, Belk, Kimura and Bahl 2008) and views regarding western beauty and nobility (Wagatsum 1967) fuses traditional Asian cultural values with Western aesthetics (Li, Min, Belk, Kimura and Bahl 2008). The ideal of white skin is the interaction of western-centrism and Asian ideologies represented by Confucianism (Russell 1996). Since whiteness remains as a significant element, women in Asia use various methods to brighten, whiten and lighten their yellow-toned or dark skin such as skin whitening or skin bleach cream, pearl powder, or skin whitening drugs (Bray, 2002; Jeon 1987).
African- lighter skin, easier life Skin color bias, especially within the African American community, reflects the difficulty, disadvantage and pain of dark-skinned women (Thurman, 1929; Thomas & Keith, 2001). In African American communities, skin color plays a significant role in class and social status determinations (Thurman, 1929). Research suggests that dark-skinned women are considered on the bottom rungs of the social ladder, least marriageable, with the least education and career opportunities (Parrish, 1994; Warner, Junker & Adams, 1941). The physical attractiveness stereotype “what is beautiful is good” (Dion, Bersheid & Walster, 1972) creates a “Halo” effect to light-skinned women (Thomas and Keith, 2001). Attractive women are perceived to have lighter skin tones than unattractive women, and a darker-skinned woman may feel herself unattractive and think herself unsuccessful no matter how intelligent and inventive she is (Russell, Wilson & Hall, 1992). African Americans have been conditioned to believe in conformity to a beauty standard that equates light skin with an easier and more rewarding life (Bond and Cash, 1992; Gatewood, 1998).
American -Bronze Age Interestingly, western Caucasians may seek darker skin tones. While suntanned skin was once the hallmark of the working-class, farmers and outdoor labores, and a tanned skin viewed as unattractive and undesirable (Mahler, Beckerley & Vogel, 2010), this aesthetic was entirely reversed due to the efforts of the French designer, CoCo Chanel. American culture quickly adopted Chanel’s portrayal of tanned skin as not merely aesthetically pleasing and trendy (Berkeley, Wellness Letter, 1998) but also come to equate it with good health, wealth, and prestige (Bellafante, 2001).
Body image: Body shape, body proportion and weight Studies have shown that individuals compare their own levels of attractiveness with those of fashion models (Irving, 1990; Martin & Kennedy, 1993; Richins, 1991). Stereotypes indicate that women’s values are judged by their physical attractiveness and the ideal image of attractiveness is considered as a “creditable source” (D'Alessandro and Chitty, 2011) for women. Several researchers over the years have reported that attractive body image, which can generally be represented by body shape, body proportion and weight, is a significant variable when comes to the general standards and judgment of beauty and effectiveness of advertisements (D'Alessandro and Chitty, 2011; Bogin* & Varela-Silva, 2010; Westover & Randle, 2009; Puhl & Boland, 2001). Attractive body image is seen as an indicator of interpersonal, material, and career success (Sullivan, 1993). Singh (1993a) suggests that body fat distribution may be presented by waist-to-hip ratio (WHR.). An indicator of health, youth and fertility usually lies between 0.67 and 0.80 for healthy and reproductively capable women and is correlated with women’s physical attractiveness (DeRidder, Bruning, Zonderland, Singh, 1993a, b, 1994; Singh & Luis, 1995; Thijssen, Bon frer, Blankenstein, Huisveld & Erich, 1990; Streeter & McBurney, 2002). Singh (1993a) contends further that the smaller the WHR ratio is, the more attractive the woman will be considered. Further studies have found that both men and women find women with 0.7 WHR as most attractive (Furnham, Lavancy, & McClelland, 2001; Furnham, Tan, & McManus, 1997; Henss, 1995, 2000; Singh, 1993a, 1993b, 1994a, 1994b, 1994c, 1994d, 1995; Singh & Luis, 1994; Singh & Young, 1995). Highly attractive underweight model images are pervasive (Joseph, 1982; Westover & Randle, 2009). Both in western and eastern cultures, thinness as the ideal woman beauty standard has been stressed in media representations of beauty (Seid, 1994; Wifley & Rodin, 1995). Dalley and Gomez( 1980) mentioned in their studies that Slimness has been found to be related to elegance, self-control, social attractiveness, and youth (Dailey and Gomez 1980). Media pressure, socio-cultural pressure, self- dissatisfaction pressure and male preference pressure have delivered the clear message to woman that being thin is perceived more attractive than average weight or overweight (Brownell 1991; Fallon and Rozin 1985; Franzoi and Herzog 1987; Mazur, 1986; Rozin and Fallon 1988; Silverstein, Peterson and Perdue 1986; Spillman and Everington 1989; Stice, Schupak-Neuberg, Westover & Randle, 2009 ). ). (Exceptions exist, of course. In Uganda, for example, heavier body shapes are overwhelmingly preferred.) Large numbers of women reify standards of beauty established via media images, striving for reductions in body mass (Solomon, Ashmore & Longo, 1992; Borchert & Heinberg, 1996; Butler & Ryckman, 1993; Monteath & McCabe, 1997). Eating disorders, cosmetic surgery and depression caused by self- dissatisfaction reported negative results of these consumer responses to media presentations of beauty (Singh, 1994b).

Conclusion and Suggestions for Future Research This paper is by no means a comprehensive examination of the construct of beauty. Nor is it intended to be a critique or presentation of media representations. Rather, it is designed to be suggestive of the breadth and depth of knowledge needed in the field of marketing to developing a theory of beauty useful to practitioners. It suggests, for example, the types of variables that interplay with the construct of beauty. It also suggests the variable nature of the construct. Finally, it attempts to hint at the magnitude of importance of understanding beauty. Such an understanding will contribute to the field by assisting advertisers, consumers, and consumer advocates. This paper has been previously published and you should cite it if using this. It was placed in this database by the authors.

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...WASH (With reference to course, MARKETING MANAGEMENT, MGT 514) Submitted to: Submitted by: Dr. GIRISH TANEJA RAJIV GUPTA ROLL NO: B34 SEC: RR1902 REG NO: 10901946 ACKNOWLEGEMENT First of all we would like to thank Lovely Professional University and take the opportunity to do this project as a part of the M.B.A. Many people have influenced the shape and content of this project, and many supported me through it. I express my sincere gratitude Dr .GIRISH TANEJA sir for assigning me a project on LAUNCHING OF LUX FACE WASH which is an interesting and exhaustive subject. He has been an inspirational and role model for this topic. His guidance and active support has made it possible to complete the assignment. I would also like to thank my friends who have helped and encouraged me throughout the working of this project. Last but not the least I would like to thank the Almighty for always helping me RAJIV GUPTA Index  Company profile  Business Mission  Market Objective  Situation Analysis SWOT Analysis Marketing Strategy Marketing Mix Implementation, Evaluation and Control Conclusion LUX Company Profile Since 1929, Lux in step with the changing trends and evolving beauty needs of the consumers, offers an exciting range of soaps and Body Washes with unique elements to make bathing time more pleasurable. One can choose from a range of skincare benefits like firming, fairness and moisturising. Lux stands for the promise of beauty and glamour as one of......

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