Thursday, May 20, 2010

Female Body Lotion: Selling Products or Body Perfection

Body lotion and creams are available in every shape and form. Today not only is there skin firming creams and lotions but everyday new products are developed from body butters to body serums all claiming to be the new and greatest product on the market. When examining body lotion, one overwhelming theme from their marketing campaigns sticks out. This is the fact that they are using women in their ads to appeal to women. Generally the women used in the ads would be seen to appeal to women but because they are shown to have perfect skin from using that particular product many women want that lotion.

In a case study done by Kirkham and Weller they stated, “ These beautiful illustrations connect the reader/viewer to the process of self beautification, to the making of feminine…The woman reader can equate the beauty, sexuality, or pleasure she will achieve with the aesthetics and attributes of the product” (Kirkham & Weller, 271). This quote describes the fact that these ads are selling the image of perfectly firm skin, or long lean cellulite free legs. The words and descriptions on the ads are generally looked over and the real item that sells the product is the image. The image of the model with the perfect skin is what makes the product appealing. In the various ads, which are selling lotion you notice that all sell the idea that perfect skin which is generally wrinkle fee, sag free, and perfectly luminous. This skin is generally unobtainable and in many cases will not be achieved through these products.

In the article by Sut Jhally it was stated, “The problem with the institutional structure of a market society that propels definition of satisfaction through the commodity/image system. The modern context, then, provides a curious satisfaction experience- one that William Leiss describes as “an ensemble of satisfaction and dissatisfactions” in which the consumption of commodities mediated by the image system of advertising leads to consumer uncertainty and confusion… yet we only have the pleasure of the image to sustain us in our actual experience with the goods” (Jhally 251-251). This quotes basically describes the fact that the images that are being used in the ads are not able to live up to the goals, which are promised by the product. This fact that the products are unable to live up to the expectations from the advertisements confuse the consumer. The idea that these women can have perfect luminous skin from using these products is the image that these women are trying to live up to. After using these products many women find themselves dissatisfied and generally move on to the next appealing and newest cream marketed to women.

Works Cited
Jhally, Sut. "Image-Based Culture: Advertising & Popular Culture." Gender, Race, and Class in Media. Thousand Oaks: Sage Publications, 2003. 249-57. Print.
Kirkham & Weller. "Cosmetics: A Clinique Case Study." Gender, Race, and Class in Media. Thousand Oaks: Sage Publications, 2003. 268-73. Print
Photo Credits


  1. Excelled:

    I feel as though you really excelled in the area of forming a cohesive argument through your use of the collage images. The images that you chose for your collage were perfect to convey the message that this product is trying to get women to believe that they can attain a perfect body by using body lotion. The fact that you tied in specific references to the images used in the collage to support your argument was very effective as well.

    Although one of your quotes was rather long, you nevertheless chose quotes that truly supported your thesis and overall argument. Additionally, I think the quotes complemented the images in your collage really well. You also supported the quotes with valid points which allowed for a cohesive argument to result.


    One area that could use improvement is choosing quotes of an appropriate length. Your Jhally quote was really long, which it took up most of the paragraph. In the future, choose a quote that is short and to the point rather than one that is drawn out.

    Another area for improvement is sticking with one specific brand of a product. Throughout your paper, you just mentioned “body lotion” which is pretty broad. Your paper would have been more analytically deep if you decided on one brand of lotion. For the future, pick one company that sells body lotion and develop an argument based on its marketing.

  2. Catherine-
    Overall, your assignment turned out well!
    It would have been great if you could have specified a clearer focus than "body lotion." Such a focus (ie a brand of body lotion) would have helped you make a more precise and more compelling argument in your thesis. Additionally, a narrow focus would have made your quote-choices easier and more conducive to the shorter length.

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    But, think on this, suppose you added a little content?
    I am not suggesting your content is not good., however what if you added a title that grabbed folk's attention? I mean "Female Body Lotion: Selling Products or Body Perfection" is kinda vanilla. You ought to look at Yahoo's
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    You might add a related video or a related pic or two to get readers excited about what you've got to say. Just my opinion, it might bring your posts a little bit more interesting.

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