Evil Marketing Study Pinpoints When Women Feel the Ugliest

A new study commissioned by media planning agency PHD has revealed the dates, times and occasions at which U.S. women feel "most vulnerable about their appearance." This is very useful information, says PHD, because it will allow marketers to pinpoint the exact right moments to target female consumers: "Happy Monday, you giant bewigged naked mole rat! Have you considered purchasing eyeliner?", etc.

According to the survey, 46 percent of women feel least attractive on Mondays; Grand Supreme Runner Up Ugly Day is Sunday with 39 percent of women's votes. Women feel the best on Thursdays, "as the workweek is winding down and they are emotionally preparing for weekend socializing." As for specific times of day, women feel that they look the worst between 5 a.m. and 7 a.m. (not surprising); second worst is 1 a.m. - 5 a.m. — which I can independently confirm from gazing upon a selfie I took whilst eating a White Castle cheeseburger at 4 in the morning. The Golden Hour of Confidence and Beauty, according to the results, is the small window between noon and 3 p.m.

Emotions have an effect on self-perception as well: situationally, the women polled reported feeling most unattractive while waking up (69 percent), when sick (67 percent), sweating (62 percent), stressed (61 percent), crying (60 percent), and the end of a long day (54 percent). Psychologically, we feel ugliest when we're depressed, angry, worrying, and lonely. Says Kim Bates, head of brand planning at PHD and big supporter of insecurity-driven capitalism, "The cultural and psychological implications of that response are significant. From a marketing perspective, it could be a factor in everything from creative concept to media platforms to promotional offers."

Here's the strategy PHD has devised:

Monday becomes the day to encourage the beauty product consumer to get going and feel beautiful again, so marketing messages should focus on feeling smart, instant beauty/fashion fixes, and getting things planned and done. Concentrate media during prime vulnerability moments, aligning with content involving tips and tricks, instant beauty rescues, dressing for the success, getting organized for the week and empowering stories.

She bills this as the first half ("Encourage") of a positive engagement strategy — the second half is "Empower," and it refers to making sure that women feel rewarded for complying with dominant beauty standards.

The "Encourage/Empower" engagement strategy can best be summed up in the following steps: 1) Maintain an environment in which women feel unattractive and vulnerable without using beauty products; 2) tell them that they can assuage their feelings of vulnerability by putting the right crap upon their faces and bodies; 3) make them feel that doing so is somehow integral to their personal success and value as a person; 4) repeat. So empowering! So encouraging! Thanks, everyone!

"New Beauty Study Reveals Days, Times And Occasions When U.S. Women Feel Least Attractive" [The Sacramento Bee]
Image via PHD.