The cosmetic industry
The cosmetic industry is, no doubt, a multibillion dollar industry, selling cosmetic or beauty products, so we are told. But what exactly is the cosmetic industry’s core product?
To answer that, we must first ask the question: what exactly is a cosmetic product and what purpose does it serve (what is it used for)?
The Cosmetic, Toiletry and Perfumery Association (CTPA) defines a “cosmetic product” as:
Article 2 of the EU Cosmetics Regulation (Regulation (EC) No. 1223/2009) incorporates the following definition of a cosmetic product:
A “cosmetic product” shall mean any substance or mixture intended to be placed in contact with the various external parts of the human body (epidermis, hair system, nails, lips and external genital organs) or with the teeth and the mucous membranes of the oral cavity with a view exclusively or mainly to cleaning them, perfuming them, changing their appearance and/or correcting body odours and/or protecting them or keeping them in good condition.
From the CTPA’s definition of a cosmetic product, we thus establish that the core purpose and use of cosmetic products is to essentially enhance, improve the [human] body appearance, especially facial appearance. Put otherwise, the main purpose of cosmetic products is to enhance and improve, sometimes change – mainly – facial appearance, which, in simplistic but profound social measure, constitutes beauty, at least on the outset. That striking and attractive appearance on someone’s face, usually at first encounter.
So, if the main purpose and use of cosmetic products is to enhance, improve or change – usually for the ‘better’ – facial appearance, that is, beauty, then we can reasonably assume that the core product of the cosmetic industry is beauty.
The cosmetic industry is in the business of selling beauty, thus the nomenclature, “beauty products”, and it’s a multibillion dollar industry.
But how does the cosmetic or beauty industry sell beauty?
Like any other industry with a product to sell, the cosmetic or beauty industry, relies on its marketing and advertisement power. It invests hugely in marketing and advertisement to create the need and market for its core product – beauty.
According to the following article by Statista, https://www.statista.com/statistics/470467/perfumes-cosmetics-and-other-toilet-preparations-industry-ad-spend-usa/
“It was found that in 2018 the sector spent approximately 18.26 billion U.S. dollars on advertising, and based on this data it was projected that the expenditures would rise to 21.2 billion U.S. dollars in 2020.”
Clearly this trend tells a far bigger story about the “beauty” industry and its marketing and advertisement strategy.
But what cannot be overlooked is the way the way marketing and advertisement campaign language, slogans and the imagery are all carefully crafted, designed to purposely but indirectly induce and create internal insecurities and fears in many a gullible and emotionally weak people’s minds about their bodies, especially their perception on [the concept of] beauty, but particularly their own beauty.
The language, slogans and powerful imagery target the minds of people, to alter their perception and concept of beauty, from the concept of natural beauty to one purposely created and sold by the cosmetic [beauty] industry.
Once such insecurities and fears are crystalised into people’s minds, the cosmetic [beauty] industry then offers a slew of solutions. Put simply, the cosmetic industry is in the business of selling beauty.
To sell beauty, the cosmetic [beauty] industry, first makes people feel “unbeautiful”. In other words, it first sells them “unbeauty” – the direct opposite of its core product. So, it comes offering a solution to their “unbeauty” which is “cosmetic beauty”. It is as simple as that. The cosmetic industry’s unique selling proposition [USP] is “BEAUTY”.
Beauty from a cosmetic industry point of view, is a product. It’s commoditised and there’s a huge consumer demand for it, much of it created through effective advertisement, directed at attacking and changing people’s perceptions of beauty.
So, people feeling “unbeautiful” have the choice to buy beauty by buying beauty products the cosmetic industry makes and sells. They buy “cosmetic beauty” and the money goes out, being cosmetic, that is, artificially enhanced, it requires and demands a constancy and consistency of attention, that in itself requires constant demand for cosmetic [beauty] products, the unending cycle is created, an expenditure loop is correspondingly created, a habit is created/formed and to the benefit of the cosmetic [beauty] industry.
Religion is exactly the same. It operates on the same principle and model as the cosmetic [beauty] industry.
Religion sells fear, but religion has essentially two counter unique selling propositions (USP), the Mighty Devil and the Mighty God.
Ingenious religious entrepreneurs know how to drum up the fear of the Devil in people’s minds and when to bring in God as the solution.
So, religious hypocrites will claim to be in the service of God, but too often, they have taken the position of God, they have appropriated the God image and role. Those who are not yet as ingenious, to take the position of God, will say, I am in the service of God, but I serve me [myself] first, hence, the demand for tithing.
There is the multibillion dollar motivational industry capitalising on the fears created by a combination of many things such as religion, socioeconomic difficulties and failures and what the cosmetic [beauty] industry cannot do, that is, cannot fix due to its own inbuilt failures.
So, you have many people overwhelmed by anxieties, fears and all kinds of emotional dysfunctionalities.
The motivational industry comes in to fill this gap, to offer a solution – sweet words, momentarily and emotionally uplifting but leaves problems unsolved – it is a band aid solution. It provides hope or rather sells hope. Hope is its unique selling proposition (USP).
The motivation terrain offers a platform for all kinds of people motivated by different intentions and outcomes. It tends to work in quite two distinct ways; first, those who are in it for the money, it’s a trade for them and quite a lucrative one too. Second, those who are in it not necessarily for the money, but to motivate themselves by motivating others. These are the chronically emotionally impoverished, they may well be materially well off.
This group, is motivated by motivating others, and that has therapeutic effects on them. It lifts their chronically low spirits and careless whether their motivational speeches – sweet words, quotes or soundbites, often borrowed or copied without caring to give credit to the source – have a genuinely positive impact on others – those they claim to motivate – as long as they feel positive themselves.