The cost of dressing in feminine products has soared in recent years, with a growing number of brands offering products that are designed to boost the appearance of women in particular.
Key points:Females were the most likely to buy products that were made with “feminine ingredients” in 2015, the study foundIn the study, women aged 18 to 24 were the biggest purchasers of the products and the most enthusiastic consumersThe survey was conducted by the company Femininest, and surveyed 1,400 consumers, including 575 women aged 20 to 34.
“The biggest driver of female consumer spending on feminine products is that it’s something they want to do,” says Dr Anne Brierley from Femininist Research, a company which runs the survey.
“It’s something that’s not just for their own pleasure but also for a woman to look good.”
The survey found that about a quarter of the women surveyed said they bought products in a feminine colour, and more than half of them were interested in using feminine products to help them look more feminine.
“We found that women were more likely to spend money on products that had a ‘feminine’ feel, which in turn was linked to the desire to look more like a woman,” says Ms Brierleys research partner and professor of retail marketing at Curtin University.
“This also has a lot to do with the fact that more than two-thirds of the female respondents had experienced physical violence, including sexual violence.”
In addition, about one-third of women had suffered sexual assault.
“Feminafication, which has become an increasingly common practice in the past few years, has resulted in the development of products that look and feel like women, and are often sold as being ‘feminines’.”
Ms Brierkins study also found that when women were asked about their favourite products they said they were most likely buy them to look better and feel more confident.
The biggest seller of feminine products in Australia in 2015 was Cosrx, with almost half of the respondents stating that they had purchased their product in a “femininest” colour.
“Women who buy feminine products are more likely than those who do not to consider them a fashion purchase,” says Prof Brier.
“More than half (54 per cent) of women who bought feminine products said they felt that it was an important purchase for them, and most of these women were also women who had experienced violence or sexual assault.”
While the survey found a majority of women said they had bought feminine-coloured products, women were equally likely to have bought them in “other colours”.
“There is no universal ‘perfect’ feminine colour for every woman,” Prof Briers says.
“Some women might prefer a slightly pinky pink to a very light pink, or a more purple-ish colour.”
She says the findings suggest that it is important to look at the “cost” of purchasing feminine products and not only the “beauty” aspect of a product.
“For women to buy feminine-style products, the cost is very high,” Prof Cairns says.
In addition to Cosrx and the other “feminist” companies, other companies have stepped in to offer products that boost the look of women, particularly in recent months.
“There are a lot of new brands popping up all the time,” Ms Briers said.
“A lot of these companies are just looking to capitalize on the trend that is happening and they’re selling these feminine-friendly products.”
They’re selling them as something that will make women feel confident, but also as something to enhance their appearance.