“Oh! I’m buying this bikini, it’ll fit perfectly when I’ve lost 2 kilos” : a study on how lingerie and swimwear companies influence consumers to buy their products

University essay from Högskolan Kristianstad/Sektionen för hälsa och samhälle; Högskolan Kristianstad/Sektionen för hälsa och samhälle

Abstract: Approximately 50% of girls and young women are not satisfied with their bodies. A huge reason for this is the thin body ideal dominating today’s social media. Lingerie and swimwear companies like Victoria’s Secret, Hunkemöller and Triangl uses the thin body ideal in their social media marketing but do not get any consequences for it. Today’s generation Z have been affected a lot from this kind of marketing. The purpose of the study was to understand how it is possible that young women from generation Z are willing to buy products from the lingerie and swimwear industry, when most of the time these companies’ social media marketing have an unrealistic image of the perfect body. In order to fulfill the purpose, a qualitative strategy was conducted through the use of three different focus groups. In these interviews, fifteen young women discussed the Instagram pictures of Victoria’s Secret, Hunkemöller and Triangl. The conclusions of the study show how companies are using the thin body image in their marketing to influence young women from generation Z into wanting to buy their products. When companies use the stereotyped woman in their marketing, consumers would either want to resemble the models that are perceived as the female stereotype or be socially accepted by being thin. However, consumers could also want to be perceived in a certain way, that is the way of the stereotyped woman on social media. Therefore, the product is attractive for the consumers even though this situation can be understood as unethical. 

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