For some decades, studies have shown that people who are considered to be physically beautiful are at an advantage in a number of areas, both private and professional. Three recent books confirm this trend by showing that beauty has become a major factor in building a career… but they disagree about the measures to take to wipe out this discrimination.
Source : The Economist.
Beauty facilitates life: this isn’t a dubious statement but a postulate that has been scientifically proven on several occasions. Since 1974, Mr Efran showed in his study « The effect of physical appearance on the judgment of guilt, interpersonal attraction, and severity of recommended punishment in a simulated jury task » that ugly-looking defendants are more severely punished during a trial than those who are considered beautiful. Likewise, attractive-looking people are more likely to gain a place in a queue, benefit from help when they need it, etc.
In the professional field as well, the influence of physical appearance has been recognised for several decades. In 1981, Mr Solomon showed, with supporting experiences, that job applicants’ clothes were often a decisive factor in recruitment (“Dress for success: Clothing Appropriateness and the Efficacy of Role Behavior”).
A meeting with Capucine, the creator of the blog Babillages
How did you think of the idea to create Babillages?
I was 19 and a student in communication and journalism. I started my first internship in women’s press, mainly in the beauty sections. That gave me the desire to do this job so I started a blog on beauty. At this moment in time, I hadn’t really had the opportunity to write in the magazines which I worked for, so the blog seemed to me an obvious way to prove that I was interested in this industry. That’s when I got myself into the game. The internet users are really connected with each other over it. The blog was no longer an advertising space to my potential employers. That was 7 years ago now! Babillages is a great adventure. I have grown up with my blog and the blog has grown too. I am also in the middle of working on a new version of Babillages which will mark a true turning point in my professional life. I want to put forward a much richer experience which I hope would please my readers! My blog will in effect transform itself into a real website…But that’s all I’m going to tell you, patience!
Established in 130 countries across five continents, L’Oréal group’s international success represents an international marketing model based on skill, knowledge and an unshakeable reputation. How has L’Oréal created this image and reputation? How has the group won over women around the world?
Of the top fifteen international luxury brands, seven are French. French brands represent 25% of the world market in luxury personal assets (fashion, accessories, perfume, watches and jewellery), or 212 billion euros (Cabinet Bain & Company – 2012). (1) In this sector, where making the clients’ dreams come true is essential, the sales force plays a vital role. Michaela Merk, a specialist in marketing and international retail, chose to spend 4 years researching the link between the brand and its sales force. What alliances should be created? What is the best way to manage a sales team so that they embody the brand values? In April 2014 Michaela Merk published a methological book: Luxury Sales Force Management.
“The link between the brand and its sales team is a very close one,” explains Dominique Perrin, non-executive Director of the Richemont group, “management needs to bring the brand to life to the point that it becomes a ‘loved one’ at the heart of the sales team.” (3)
In 2004 Dove launched a ground breaking worldwide advertising campaign in the beauty industry. The brand created a new way to address their public which aimed to be “real” by getting rid of the complexes that beauty product consumers suffer from. Around 10 years on, how have Dove’s campaigns changed? What lessons can we take away?
« If without perfume, we are nothing, without image, perfume is nothing, » believes Alain Montandon, professor emeritus of General and Comparative Literature. (1) More than just a simple fragrance, perfume evokes a feeling and an image. Using it is therefore very symbolic for women. Fragrances are surrounded by connotations that brands carefully build and manipulate.
To perfect the relationship between consumers and their perfumes, Thierry Mugler pioneered a unique loyalty strategy.
« Our greatest achievement was not discovering the properties of plants, but making them available to everyone. » So believes Yves Rocher, the famous founder of the botanical beauty company of the same name. He was guided by two key aims: accessible beauty and scientific innovation using plants.
Fascinated by active ingredients in plants, the young Yves Rocher started his business at 28 years old with a ‘lesser flower’ based cream. At that time, in 1959, the beauty market was still dominated by the elite, so the young businessman decided to make cosmetics accessible to all women. (2) This is how mail-order selling started, publishing ads in national newspapers and popular magazines such as “Ici Paris” and “France Dimanche. » (1) The success was immediate and the brand rapidly gained momentum in France. With a client base of around 5,000 addresses, the brand now attracts over 30 million customers worldwide.
« Black » Beauty: activist above all
The years 1960-1970 marked a turning point in the history of « black » beauty. This is the beginning of recognition of the existence of beautiful black girls different from that of the Caucasian skin population. The « Black is beautiful » slogan and the legendary Afro hairstyle become the symbol of a political claim.
Katell Pouliquen, deputy editor of L’Express Styles and author of the recent book « Afro, une celebration » (September 2012), said: « initially the Afro, it is a claim and identity history for me it goes hand in hand with respect. Claiming to be afro in the 1960s when being black is to withstand to beautiful white aesthetic. America in 1950, 1960 was extremely violent for blacks American, segregated, and lynched, not allowed voting rights in some southern states. So we start from there. »*
In the 2000s, a new phenomenon joins the history of the African beauty « Nappy » women. Contraction of the terms « Natural » and « Happy », this term refers to a tendency to be « happy in a natural way. »
In December 2012, the Cabinet Promise Consulting Inc., in partnership with the Huffingtonpost.fr, unveiled the list of the favourite fragrances of French women and French men, for themselves and the ones to offer as a present…
According to this Dior study, Dior J’adore, Miss Dior and Chanel No. 5 prance in the ranking of the most popular fragrances for women. As for the ranking of perfumes that men prefer to offer to women, it is dominated by Chanel No. 5, Dior J’adore and GUERLAIN Shalimar. Through these results, we observe that the large luxury homes maintain a mix between tradition and modernity. They impose their historical fragrances, even though the fragrance market is characterized by introducing new products at a rapid pace.
The 10 most popular women’s fragrances