It’s no secret – I’m quite fond of Stephen Colbert. Though his satire can cross a line once in awhile, he does an excellent job providing commentary that points out just how absurd or insulting politicians/the media/everyone can be. I saw this clip a few weeks ago and wanted to make sure other people saw it.
People often sing the praises of Dove (a Unilever brand) for their occasional positive body image marketing. I’ll admit I was quite pleased to see their ads featuring women of all sizes, and they’ve done a small part to draw attention to how the fashion/beauty industry creates unrealistic and even completely fictional representations of women. Remember this video?
That’s another old clip that most people have already seen, but I think it’s a nice juxtaposition to this new product of theirs. That body-acceptance attitude clearly has not permeated every aspect of their company – namely, Research & Development. In a study conducted and financed by Unilever, researched that a whopping 93% of women find their underarms unattractive. Colbert breaks down the business model for us:
One of the secrets of sales is fulfilling the public’s need. The other secret is inventing the public’s need. Now with Unilver’s help, women have now learned that their armpits are hideous. If you take the time to create a new thing for women to feel insecure about, then sell them the solution, then you’ve cornered the market!
Colbert does such a good job explaining it (along with an awkward moment where he attempts to use Unilever-brand ice cream as deodorant) that I’ll just let you watch it for yourself. WordPress is picky on what kind of videos can be embedded, but you can watch the clip on the Huffington Post’s own write-up or directly on Comedy Central. The Wall Street Journal article that Colbert references in the clip can be read in full here.
Unattractive armpits? Really? But on the flip side, 5 days sure is a short amount of time to make them more attractive.