That’s Fashion Sweetie: Let’s Talk Sex (Al Marketing)

Woman putting on lipstick.
British makeup artist Isamaya French has released her latest lipstick with phallic lipstick case this month. A&E crownist Hadyn Phillips explores how sexual marketing is on the rise around Valentine’s Day. (Photo courtesy of Marco Verci via Creative Commons)

Valentine’s Day can be a difficult time. Breakups are inevitable, rough patches exist, and being single can be a nuisance in all of the romantic advertising. Bachelorette nights are a great way to make new and unexpected relationships.

In the world of advertising and marketing, Valentine’s Day 2023 is expected to generate nearly $26 billion in revenue, an increase of $2 billion from 2022. This may be due to jewelry, engagement rings, and chocolates, but this day is a huge day to market fantasy and sex.

Obviously, this means lingerie and condoms.

Maybe it’s because, as a woman, I feel like I’m constantly getting ads to enhance my sex appeal.

Sometimes it’s unintentional, like Rick Owens’ Spring 2016 show trying to make a “human backpack.” It consisted of models strapped to each other, which was immediately interpreted in a sexual way.

Another example: Kate Moss in a miniskirt topless eating a Magnum ice cream bar to close out Vivienne Westwood’s Spring 1994 show “Cafe Society.” The meaning of the collection was complicated by the overtly sexual interpretation of Moss’ (deliberately) mesmerizing performance, and the first word people thought of was “sex.”

Westwood was famous for challenging the status quo, but the way she approached “Café Society” directly contrasted the traditional Victorian era with mini-skirts and provocative attire, making it “sexy.” was hidden behind the headline ‘Kate Topless in the.

Of course, it’s not Moss’ fault, and this publicity is exactly what Westwood wanted.

Other times, sex and fantasy are the overall purpose of the show, most clearly seen during the reign of Victoria’s Secret.

But what about the beauty community?

Packaging has become a very important factor in both brand identity and brand hype. It makes sense why. People like to own beautiful things. Whether it’s the iconic star shape of Mugler’s ‘Angel’ perfume or the gold applicator of Hourglass’ lip treatment oil, the physical presentation of a product can either attract or deter the consumer.

I just finished an introduction to the Libresse advertising class and case studies for the RedFit, Blood Normal and Viva La Vulva campaigns. It actively sought to change the public’s perception of the menstrual cycle and the reality of the vulva. The ads were initially banned, but later lifted after a review, and eventually ads discussing pads used more red liquid instead of blue and featured vulva cupcakes and vulva origami. The campaign is different from packaging, but the reason why the penis and vagina are not literally portrayed in the beauty world is that while the idea and act of sex sells, Because anatomical genitals (often) don’t sell.

So until February 2nd, when make-up artist Isamaya Ffrench unveiled ISAMAYA BEAUTY’s latest lipstick, was there a catch?

This isn’t the first time she’s played with the idea of ​​sex and BDSM, revealing that she came up with the idea in a dream. In fact, in her debut her collection, her INDUSTRIAL, mascara, lipstick and serum applicators were pierced with a silver septum her ring.

Directly challenging more subtle attempts to incorporate NSFW ideas into beauty products, such as Nalu’s blush names “Orgasm,” “Deep Throat,” “Dominate,” or Too Faced’s “Better Than Sex” mascara, Each lipstick tube weighs 10 oz. It weighs three times as much as an average lipstick case.

Part of this comes from French love of seeing beauty products as works of art and collectibles. This is also reflected in her prices, with her new phallic lipstick costing as much as $95.Her ideology is her second collection, which is adorned with a gold and crystal bronco. Most clearly seen in WILD STAR.

Before I go any further, I would like to briefly explain. The articles from here discuss the correlation between genitalia and gender identity in a traditional way. We are aware that there are many other nuances to consider. Many women don’t have a vulva, just as many men don’t have penises. Furthermore, gender identity and subsequent expressions do not have to be boxed. This is why makeup is one of the freest forms of expression and communication. It can be hidden, it can be enhanced, and it doesn’t adhere to gender norms – even if it’s phallic.

Now, back to lipstick.

Lipstick is the warrior cry of feminism and a celebration of the male body. It is about embracing the history that surrounds us and our control over it.

In an interview with Business of Fashion, psychotherapist MJ Corey and human sexuality doctor Dr. A celebration of anatomy and the literal representation of the female gaze.

But the overt use of the penis is new to the beauty world, perhaps because of the product’s proximity and intimate application. I accept. Westwood currently sells a $254 topaz pavé penis waistcoat chain, Owens dressed male models at its Paris Fashion Week collection to deliberately reveal the penis, and Acne Studios laced it with “forever mine forever yours.” sells $290 shirts with penis borders. Moreover.

The French may have waited until Valentine’s Day approached before announcing their lipstick launch, but whether it was intentional or not, it’s an incredibly smart move to make with a marketing lens. was.

Not only is it a funny gag gift (I personally wouldn’t), it’s an incredibly unique and personalized item for anyone who can afford it. Extending an item beyond its physical object through social sharing while also serving as a keepsake is a practical art. It’s a celebration, an invitation to open up a conversation about sex and anatomy, and a welcome to the penis into the space of hypersexuality.

I’m still processing my full thoughts on French lipsticks, but I’ll leave you with this: If you’re pissed off at lipsticks, think about why. , please reflect.

Our society is already hypersexual and we cannot turn back time. So does the invitation of the literal anatomical genitalia only contribute further to this? Will it lead to more open acceptance of sex, sexual activity, and body anatomy?

Talk about it—perhaps even your Valentine’s Day tonight.

Hadyn Phillips is a sophomore writing about 21st century fashion, specifically spotlighting emerging trends and popular controversies. Her column “That’s Fashion, Sweetie” appears every Tuesday.

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