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Do Ultra Thin Models Sell More Clothes?

Posted By Holly Buchanan On September 4, 2008 @ 6:15 am In Marketing to Women | 12 Comments

thin_model.jpg [1]

It’s an important and disturbing question.   There have been several studies done that show the negative effect of all these anorexic models on women’s self-esteem. But do those super skinny models actually sell more clothes?

Heather Strang at RetailDesignDiva.com has a fascinating article [2]on the subject.  Here’s a sample:

Jeremy Kees, a business professor at Villanova had this quote to share [3]: “The really interesting result we’re seeing across multiple studies is that these thin models make women feel bad, but they like it. They have higher evaluation of the brands. With the more regular-size models, they don’t feel bad. Their body image doesn’t change. But in terms of evaluations of the brands, those are actually lower.”

Personally, I don’t think Jeremy knows what he’s talking about, but it’s worth exploring. Why would something that makes us feel bad also motivate us to buy? We may need a panel of psychologists to figure this one out. Ultimately, though it puts retailers in a position where they can’t win.

I’d like to learn more about the study that found women have a “higher evaluation” of brands that use these thin models.    I’m not saying I disagree, but I’d like more details.   Since the top fashion houses are the biggest offenders with these size negative 2 models, perhaps women associate this look with high-end designer clothing.  I don’t know.

What do you think?


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URL to article: http://www.grokdotcom.com/2008/09/04/do-ultra-thin-models-sell-more-clothes/

URLs in this post:

[1] Image: http://www.grokdotcom.com/wp-content/uploads/Holly/thin_model.jpg

[2] Heather Strang at RetailDesignDiva.com has a fascinating article : http://retaildesigndiva.blogs.com/retail_design_diva/2008/09/women-like-ultr.html

[3] Jeremy Kees, a business professor at Villanova had this quote to share: http://www.massogroup.com/cms/content/view/5110/312/lang,en/

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