Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

'Sexy' underwear is not the only way to feel feminine on Valentine's Day

Date:
February 13, 2014
Source:
University of Leicester
Summary:
TV makeover shows and glossy magazines can leave women feeling guilty for not wearing “sexy” lingerie -- especially on Valentine’s Day.

TV makeover shows and glossy magazines can leave women feeling guilty for not wearing “sexy” lingerie – especially on Valentine’s Day.

But in fact, many different types of underwear could make them feel feminine, according to an expert on underwear consumption.

Dr Christiana Tsaousi, a lecturer in marketing and consumption at the University of Leicester’s School of Management, believes underwear choices are hugely affected by personal taste influenced by social background, professional status and upbringing, and why every woman's underwear needs are individual.

Her research on the subject is published today by SAGE in the Journal of Consumer Culture.

The ‘shaping’ underwear, for example, prescribed by reality TV shows, such as How To Look Good Naked and 10 Years Younger, is an unhelpful way of thinking about how women should choose what they wear, Dr Tsaousi has concluded.

"On Valentine's Day, some women may feel the only way to feel feminine is to wear the "sexy" underwear promoted by the media in general. But this is really not the case."

“Reality makeover shows and media in general have one purpose – to make women look feminine in line with western ideals,” she said.

“They present femininity as this thing where you feel nice about yourself because you have a body that needs to be expressed. Having that as an aim, participants on the shows are given underwear that’s going to mould the body in a certain way.”

But Dr Tsaousi, who has conducted extensive research into the consumption of underwear, says that women think very carefully about choosing the right underwear for the right situation – and that comfort is often as important as “sexiness”.

“Women learn to choose underwear for the right situation. In an ideal world, it would be good if reality shows acknowledge that women can feel feminine by wearing different underwear.

“Some women don’t like these shows because they always show a specific type of femininity, which is not the reality in most cases. They can make you feel guilty about the way you look and the way you feel about your body if you aren’t wearing underwear considered sexy.

“When partners are looking to buy underwear as Valentine’s gifts for their wives or girlfriends, they should choose underwear which will fit their partners well and will make them feel comfortable – rather than the stereotypical tiny, uncomfortable types. This will ultimately lead to them feeling nice about themselves.”

In her new paper for the Journal of Consumer Culture, Dr Tsaousi interviewed women from a wide range of groups and backgrounds, including university lecturers, young mums, and female rugby players. She looked at the influence of women’s upbringing, profession, age, and social status on their underwear choices.

She found that some groups such as the young rugby girls favoured “cute” underwear while for others such as academics something that supports their professional dress was the main priority.

“The paper indicates that women’s choices in underwear are determined by factors such as our ways of thinking, up-bringing, taste and status in society,” Dr Tsaousi said. “The paper also suggests that women make similar judgements about their underwear as they would their outerwear.”

For many women another big influence on their taste in underwear is their mother.

“We can’t forget that the mother normally buys the first bra for her daughter. It is the first act of being feminine, and introduces girls to the idea that they are becoming a woman,” Dr Tsaousi said.

Dr Tsaousi added that the study of the consumption of underwear is an area which has not been explored in detail by academics – but is very important to the market.

“Obviously women’s outer dress is visible so it is under scrutiny by others. Underwear on the other hand is hidden but people make similar judgements.

“Other forms of dress have been widely discussed in consumption studies, but underwear is an area that hasn’t been fully researched. It is quite important – we see that every day in the market from the variety on offer in clothes shops and specialised underwear shops.”


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Leicester. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Tsaousi, C. ‘What underwear I like?’ Taste and (embodied) cultural capital in the consumption of women’s underwear. Journal of Consumer Culture, 2014 (in press)

Cite This Page:

University of Leicester. "'Sexy' underwear is not the only way to feel feminine on Valentine's Day." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 13 February 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/02/140213220346.htm>.
University of Leicester. (2014, February 13). 'Sexy' underwear is not the only way to feel feminine on Valentine's Day. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/02/140213220346.htm
University of Leicester. "'Sexy' underwear is not the only way to feel feminine on Valentine's Day." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/02/140213220346.htm (accessed October 22, 2014).

Share This



More Mind & Brain News

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

First-Of-Its-Kind Treatment Gives Man Ability To Walk Again

First-Of-Its-Kind Treatment Gives Man Ability To Walk Again

Newsy (Oct. 21, 2014) A medical team has for the first time given a man the ability to walk again after transplanting cells from his brain onto his severed spinal cord. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Portable Breathalyzer Gets You Home Safely

Portable Breathalyzer Gets You Home Safely

Buzz60 (Oct. 21, 2014) Breeze, a portable breathalyzer, gets you home safely by instantly showing your blood alcohol content, and with one tap, lets you call an Uber, a cab or a friend from your contact list to pick you up. Sean Dowling (@SeanDowlingTV) has the details. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Your Birth Season Might Determine Your Temperament

Your Birth Season Might Determine Your Temperament

Newsy (Oct. 20, 2014) A new study says the season you're born in can determine your temperament — and one season has a surprising outcome. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Movies Might Desensitize Violence For Parents, Not Just Kids

Movies Might Desensitize Violence For Parents, Not Just Kids

Newsy (Oct. 20, 2014) A study suggests that parents become desensitized to violent movies as well as children, which leads them to allow their kids to view violent films. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins