It’s Valentine’s Day (cue cynical grumbles/happy sighs), a romantic occasion that might prompt women to succumb to the marketing wiles of brands that push trendy lingerie as the best way to be feminine and feel sexy. But a British researchers says forget those marketing tricks — sexy is as sexy does.
The study’s author, a lecturer in marketing and consumption at the University of Leicester’s School of Management in Great Britain, says that it’s not about what you see on TV or in the media. She says that after her interviews with British women, she found that “sexy could be anything that feels nice on you. It feels comfortable,” reports USA Today.
I always knew these sweatpants deserved more credit!
Anyway, while it might seem like a no-brainer that you alone should control what you buy, the sexy factor is the target of intense market research companies here in the U.S. Apparently retailers here get that, says a consumer psychologist.
“Retailers in the U.S. understand that there is a whole range of sexiness,” she tells USA Today. “Sexy for one person isn’t sexy for another, and that’s why we have everything from low-slung pajama bottoms and tight T-shirts to mega-push-up padded bras and garter belts.”
For her research, the British study’s author interviewed 35 women from a variety of backgrounds and chatted with them about why they purchase their underthings, and wrote about her findings in the Journal of Consumer Culture.
Women make their choices mostly due to personal taste, social background, professional status and upbringing, she says. “These are factors that affect us when we are making aesthetic decisions about underwear.”
And also, though you might be tempted to buy your love one a gift of fancy lingerie for Valentine’s Day? The type people often buy as presents are “usually quite tiny and uncomfortable, and women may not wear it very much if at all,” she says.
So there, world. Don’t tell us what kind of skivvies we should buy. We can decide that for ourselves.
You can follow MBQ on Twitter and she promises not to tweet about underwear anymore: @marybethquirk