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 July 29, 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 July 29, 2014).

Share This




More Mind & Brain News

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Losing Sleep Leaves You Vulnerable To 'False Memories'

Losing Sleep Leaves You Vulnerable To 'False Memories'

Newsy (July 27, 2014) A new study shows sleep deprivation can make it harder for people to remember specific details of an event. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
University Quiz Implies Atheists Are Smarter Than Christians

University Quiz Implies Atheists Are Smarter Than Christians

Newsy (July 25, 2014) An online quiz from a required course at Ohio State is making waves for suggesting atheists are inherently smarter than Christians. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Beatings and Addiction: Pakistan Drug 'clinic' Tortures Patients

Beatings and Addiction: Pakistan Drug 'clinic' Tortures Patients

AFP (July 24, 2014) A so-called drugs rehab 'clinic' is closed down in Pakistan after police find scores of ‘patients’ chained up alleging serial abuse. Duration 03:05 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
New Painkiller Designed To Discourage Abuse: Will It Work?

New Painkiller Designed To Discourage Abuse: Will It Work?

Newsy (July 24, 2014) The FDA approved Targiniq ER on Wednesday, a painkiller designed to keep users from abusing it. Like any new medication, however, it has doubters. 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:
from the past week

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