Memo To The Status Quo: Traditionally Skinny Models Are Bringing Business Down

May 18, 2012  |  

If you’re sick and tired of seeing cute dresses modeled by super skinny women, you’re not alone. In fact, modeling agent Ben Barry observed that women are more likely to buy an expensive dress if it’s not hung on an extra thin mannequin or model in an ad. The NY Daily News reports that his study found its 2500 women participants of all ages and sizes were more willing to pay the price of a designer dress when they saw it worn on a figure that looked like their own.

“My study found that women increased their purchase intentions by more than 200 percent when the models in the mock ads were their size,” he said to NY Daily News. His study shows the differences were even greater with women over size 6 with a 300 percent increase.

Looks like a lot of businesses are missing the mark with consumers. “Contrary to long-held marketing wisdom, fashion ads don’t need to lead women to aspire to an unattainable ideal to sell products,” he said.

Barry notes that the issue isn’t just about self-esteem, for women it’s just practical. Women like seeing how clothes will look and hang on a figure that’s close to their own. And this also includes the age and race of the model. African American women are 1.5 times more likely to make a purchase they saw modeled on a black woman while women over the age of 35 are 200 percent more likely to buy a dress shown on an older model.

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