Dove Insults Women Again: After last year’s viral and disliked-by-me “Beauty Sketches” campaign, Dove has come up with another way to let women know that they are just too stupid to manage their own self-esteem. “Patches” is presented as a medical study for a Dove’s new RB-X Beauty Patch, conducted by Dr. Ann Kearney-Cooke, PhD – a psychologist specializing in eating disorders and self-esteem. The women in the video wear the patch and keep a journal – and for the first couple weeks find that not much has changed. But eventually the patch has some effect: one woman decides that she can now show her arms, and another shares her joy that someone at the office told her she was pretty. The women are later informed that the patch contains nothing, and they either laugh or cry with the embarrassment at “their own” foolishness. Dove contends that the women in the ad are not actresses, and that they responded to an open call for an “undisclosed documentary”. Dove’s director of skin cleansing, Jennifer Bremner, told ABC News: “All of the women who participated in the experiment feel that it was an extremely positive experience empowering them to be far more confident about their beauty, inside and out.” Really? Shaming women for believing what a “Distinguished Psychologist from Columbia University” tells them? Please. ABC News. Adweek.
Since Dove’s “study” for the RB-X Beauty Patch wasn’t a double-blind clinical trial, we’ll never know what the role the Placebo Effect had in the subjects’ feelings about their looks. But how much of a beauty product or regimen’s effectiveness is in our decision that it works? Autumn at The Beheld looks into the Placebo Effect of facial exercise regimens and $300 creams. The Beheld.
Best April Fool’s beauty joke ever: Rocket News reports a new trend of businessmen getting nail art to Stand Out While Fitting In at the office. Referencing thumbnail-dyeing traditions for ninjas in the Heian period (794-1185), the article states that Japanese men are sneaking into secret salons to get their “bijinesu neiru” or “business nail” done. It tells tales of men getting promoted for having the company logo painted on their thumbnail, or spending half their salary on exquisite nail art done by geisha-like manicurists (who may offer other services as well). Western blogs have picked up the story, feeding into our fascination for Weird Japanese People. Ha! Rocket News.
Lupita Nyong’o breaks another barrier – she’s been named Lancôme’s first black brand ambassador. Which is shocking, actually – back in the 1980’s, Lancôme’s hiring of a 30-year old Isabella Rossellini to be the “face” of the line was truly groundbreaking. Oh well. Welcome to the 21st century. Business of Fashion.
When fashion designer Isabel Toledo designed a collection of 54 looks for Lane Bryant, fashion editors at the runway show gasped at the “astonishingly lovely” plus-sized models. (To be fair, they don’t see a lot of models that aren’t extremely thin, so they forget how pretty a young woman with curves can be.) Toledo herself jumped at the chance to work with Lane Bryant – she tells Lynn Yaeger at Vogue.com: “Designers have always dressed clients of all sizes in their showrooms. Just not on their runways.” But most of the industry does not “embrace the curvy”. Except when “embracing the curvy sells”. Amy Merrick at The New Yorker looks at how “real bodies” and “real beauty” are being used as fashion “authenticity” marketing gimmicks. The New Yorker. Vogue.com.
In Pictures: What is “Savage Beauty”? That politically-incorrect question is explored over at the Makeup Museum, whose curator noticed that the font on design student’s packaging for “Savages” – a hypothetical male skin care line – was strikingly similar to that in ads for “Savage”, a vintage lipstick line (and creator of “Jungle” Red). The rough edges of the ecofriendly, “biodynamic” men’s concept and the “primitive” passions evoked by the advertising for women may appeal for different times and reasons, but somehow the font remains the same… Makeup Museum.