What Women Really Want

It is a testament to both the myth of youth and the power of the media. Last week the Horizon programme on BBC2 announced that there was one anti-aging cream that actually worked. It happens to be Boots No7 Protect & Perfect from the laboratories of the eponymous high street chemist.

As reported in the Sunday Telegraph,

Twenty four hours after the programme was aired there was not a single £16.75, 30ml jar of Boots No7 Protect & Perfect serum to be found in Britain. Sales had increased by 2,000 per cent overnight, stores had amassed waiting lists running into four figures, the company’s web store had 4,000 requests in an evening and thousands of pleas from the US, and single jars of the serum were changing hands for £100 on eBay.

“We had crowds of women charging behind the counters, convinced our sales staff had a secret stash stored there,” says Geraldine Waterson, the No7 product developer. ”We had women threatening to practically lynch anyone who got more than one and, from John O’Groats to Land’s End, we had queues snaking down the high streets. We knew women would want it, we just wildly under-estimated how many. We had shipped 21 weeks’ supplies into the stores the night before. All were gone in a day, at a rate of one jar every 10 seconds. Now it will be a fortnight before we can meet the demand.”

The sad thing is that cream doesn’t stop aging at all. Not one of these women is going to live one minute longer thanks to Boots No7 Protect & Perfect. They may look better in their coffin, but that’s it. Neither does it do anything to increase their value as a person. Rather it just demonstrates how misplaced their values really are.

If anything, it devalues them. If the goal it to make them more them more attractive because men value youthful looks, then they acknowledge that their motivation is to be objectified. Is that what they really want?


2 Responses to What Women Really Want

  1. emalyse says:

    Hi-a good post-I certainly agree that it’s demeaning but to a large extent women (& men) are presurised to conform to society’s shallow norms ( for women it’s as an idealised objectification in the media) and that extends to the workplace as youth is rewarded and age and experience for women is not a bankable commodity (how many women newsreaders are left on TV over 45 compared to the ratio of men?). It’s a chicken and egg situation but it is driven by what our culture actually rewards and what it doesn’t reward. It isn’t right but ,as Bruce Hornsby once sang, that’s just the way it is.

  2. Margi says:

    Orthodox women need to look good in their coffins 😉

    No-one wants to feel ugly and everyone is entitled to try for clear, soft skin at any age but I think a huge part of the problem with modern women is that 45 year olds, for example, have the problems 25 year olds used to have. A century ago girls were afraid of being on the shelf at 25 but by 45 a woman’s place in her home, family, community, etc, was assured. Today with folk living together, marrying late, divorcing readily and so on women are dating in their 40s and 50s which a few years ago would have been considered quite ridiculous. It can’t be fun being single, 40 and looking and knowing men your age consider it a coup to date a 25 year old.

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