|Marketing a Myth|
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There are so many beauty products on the market that it would be no leap of imagination to suppose that there are almost as many companies producing them. In reality though, this is not the case, largely speaking a handful of multinational firms rule the beauty roost. According to the market analysts Euromonitor International the top ten multinational players account for over 50 per cent of global beauty sales.
More of us that ever are feeling inadequate about our physical appearance and testament to this fact, the number of us considering or opting for cosmetic surgery to change our looks, is dramatically increasing. A survey of 1,978 British adults aged 18 or over, conducted by Which? in 2007, found that one in 10 Brits – almost five million adults – would consider plastic surgery to improve their looks and four per cent want their partner to consider surgery. In 2005 Brits spent almost £360 million on cosmetic treatments, a 242 per cent increase since 2000.
Why are we obsessed with our physical appearance? In a 2006 survey from YouGov women laid the blame on marketing and advertising campaigns carried out by the beauty industry for their low self-esteem. The flawless beauty portrayed in media images is something that women feel they cannot compete with. Is it any wonder with towering cadaverous size zero models cascading down the catwalk and perfectly airbrushed beauties filling the pages of glossy magazines? Colipa (The European, Cosmetic, Toiletry and Perfumery Association) explain in their 2006 Activity Report that “cosmetics are an indispensable part of our lifestyle. It is not just luxury, but perceived as a need.” The cosmetic industry dedicates substantial funds to maintaining this perception.