What makes a person beautiful / sexy/ desirable? The answer very much depends on your culture, upbringing, religious beliefs, status in life, your environment and even your personal tastes.
- in countries where native people have naturally darker complexion, the store shelves are littered with whitening products while in countries with natives who have naturally fair complexions have tanners and bronzers extensively displayed in the supermarket’s beauty aisles.
- in Mauritania, northeast Africa, women’s beauty is revered but thin isn’t in, plump is sexy! And the more the women are divorced and have stretch- marks the more desirable they are!
- in Brazil, women’s beauty has long been a national obsession, staying slim and toned butts being pre-requisites to ‘measuring up’. More recently, due to the global influence of the US perception of beauty, big breasts are a must and Brazil’s plastic surgery is second only to the USA!
- in Iran, yes Iran, where women cover most of their bodies, they’re performing an estimated 60,000 nose jobs a year! For women who have this surgery, it’s a badge of honor and they proudly wear their bandages for prolonged periods to show off the beauty of their only exposed body part-the face!
- Paris, the City of Lovers, knows a thing or two about beauty. And for Parisians, slender is sexy. Once the body is perfectly moisturized and the complexion is flawless, the next step to sexiness is lingerie. It’s all about feeling good from the inside; and they look forward to getting older—turning 60 is sexy! Their goal is to stay slim, trim and well groomed as they age. French women feel entitled to be sexy and desirable all along their lives. And the list goes on.
However the North American marketing world wants us to believe that beauty is exemplified by the super skinny runaway model. They want us to believe it because that image has been engrained into our minds over several decades and it sells products. They work on our psyche having us believe that if we buy their products we will come closer to matching these models looks. The reality is that less than .001% of us can ever look like that and so we just keeping buying more beauty aids in hope that they will somehow miraculously transform us over time.
In my years of marketing and studying consumer behaviour I have learned a lot about what sells. So let me be totally honest with you…
Men are more likely to click on this image
Than this image
Why? We can speculate. Men notice blondes first and they like blondes. Her features are more perfect? She has a more alluring come hither look. And so you get a sense as to why this image had 100% more clicks than the other one.
Tokii also tested a campaign where we use more every day average looking couples, not perfect internet sourced images.
The overwhelming preference was for perfect looking couple like this one.
Versus this one:
So why are we drawn to perfection?
Let’s face it, very few of us have those statuesque measurements and certainly after the age of 20, life’s stress and gravity begin to take charge of our bodies! Does this mean that we are no longer considered beautiful? Far from it, but the first step is to get real! It seems that we have let this ‘beauty image’ thing become a runaway train that most women feel inadequate to board.
Look at any women and you can see beauty. Sometimes it’s the face, sometimes it’s the legs and other times it’s the whole package. Still at other times, it’s the aura that a woman projects. These French gals referenced above, start with the realization that aging is inevitable. Certain treatments and exercise can slow it down but regardless of how much you attempt to slowdown the aging clock, it will happen! And so the best advice they offer is to manage the process, employ beneficial cosmetic products, dress tastefully but sexy, especially the undergarments and strut your stuff. And most importantly enjoy your beauty at every stage of your life and make the most of what you have. It’s that old adage, “if you look good you’ll feel good”. Confidence is an important ingredient and just knowing that someone else admires your beauty can be the trigger to boosting it even more.
So ladies go out and strut your stuff and don’t be shy. Carry yourself with grace and emphasize your best attributes and I guarantee you, the man or men in your life will take notice! And by the way, since we gals are quite competitive, you can bet that other women will also take note! We each have great assets and it’s a matter of highlighting them and flaunting them! You have every right to sing your anthem loudly “I’m too sexy for my skin.”
Karla Stephens-Tolstoy, Tokii CEO & Founder
A business and brand maverick, skilled in building start-ups and building brand management teams in North America, Asia and Europe.