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- How do you rate the model beauty?
- What do you like the most about the model?
- If you had the chance, what would you copy in this ad?
- Do you think copying this model will make you look prettier?
- Are you happy with your body image?
- Do you think the ads affect your self-confidence?
- Do you think that the ads you see draw the meaning of beauty and fashion?
- Do you agree that seeing shinnies models with specific style push you to plastic?
|Model Beauty Rating||60||1.00||5.00||3.4000||1.31742|
|Copying in the ad||60||1.00||6.00||2.8833||1.24997|
|Meaning of beauty||60||1.00||2.00||1.3167||.46910|
|Valid N (listwise)||60|
In the first question, respondents were asked to rate the picture based on a scale of 1 to 5 with 1 being the worst rating and 5 being the best rating. The average rating made 3.4, which is high enough to claim that most young women in the UAE find western beauty and fashion appealing.
The second question considered aspects of the picture that were most liked by respondents. The average was 3.68, a value close to 4, that is, hair (Applegate, 1994).
As suggested by the mean, the pie chart indicated that hair is the most liked of the picture’s elements.
The third question asked what respondents would prefer to copy from the advertisement. The mean was 2.88, a value close to three. This suggests that most girls would want to copy their lips.
The results, however, are in line with the response to question 2. As a matter of fact, 38% would prefer western-looking hair (38%) followed by the nose (22%), and then lips and eyes (18% each). Interestingly, style is not of interest to the young girls, a fact that could be attributed to conventional hijab worn by young women in the UAE who are primarily Muslim (Arab Media Outlook, 2013; Danesi, 2003; Hagenah, 2013).
In the fourth question, the women were asked whether or not they felt prettier than the model. In essence, this question sought to learn the specifics of the women’s self-image. A mean of 1.5 was recorded. The pie chart is as shown below.
Interestingly, most of the respondents felt less pretty than the model. 59% of the respondents felt that the model was prettier. Question 5 focused on the level to which the women felt satisfied with their body.
55% of young women are either satisfied with their body weight, while only 25% are not satisfied.
Question 6 evaluated if the ad affects the respondent’s self-confidence.
Interestingly, 60% of respondents felt that the ad affected their level of self-confidence. The 7th question, on the other hand, asked whether respondents felt the ad drew the meaning of beauty and fashion. This is represented in the pie chart below:
The results confirm that young women in the UAE adore western beauty and fashion (Hala, Ryan & Tiffany, 2011; Muslim Media Watch, 2012). The last question asked whether they would have plastic surgery to reflect the presence in the picture. This is presented in the pie chart below:
32% of UAE women willing to undergo plastic surgery is substantially high.
The shift towards the western concept of beauty in the UAE shows clearly that media has shaped the culture of the state, as well as the image of a woman in the UAE culture impressively. The media has an admittedly powerful effect, especially on young women, which is obviously a phenomenon worth looking into somewhat closer.
The obvious emphasis on hair might seem rather strange at first. However, when considering the specifics of the UAE culture, in which covering the head is obligatory for girls and young women, the idea of focusing on hair as one of an integral part of femininity, and a rather censored one at that, is very successful. Seeing that showing off their hair is a taboo for the UAE women, the advertisement allows for tasting the “forbidden fruit,” which is rather tempting and, therefore, efficient.
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Nevertheless, one may assume that the use of hair as the most attractive element of the female body for the viewers of the UAE can be interpreted as a reference to the traditional UAE culture. The emphasis on the lips, however, shows clearly that the Emirati media has taken its course towards the western concepts of beauty and that the latter is going to be used as the key for product promotion among the citizens. Therefore, it is obvious that the process of entering the global market is fraught for the UAE with serious consequences in terms of retaining its culture and preserving the traditional image of a woman in the UAE media.
It is also remarkable that quite a few Emirati women have a rather negative image of themselves. It can be assumed that the acceptance of the western concept of beauty, which is enhanced by the introduction of the modern media into the lives of the UAE citizens, leads to an impressive drop in the self-confidence of the UAE women. A drop in the rates of self-esteem among the UAE women, in its turn, is most likely to lead to tangible changes in the health rates among the specified population, which may be caused by excessive dieting in the first place. As another survey shows, advertisements make 60% of the UAE women self-aware.
Conclusion and Implications
The results of the tests carried out in the course of the research show that imposing the beauty standards of one culture onto another one is not only wrong but also dangerous. The UAE women may not be ready for changing their lifestyle; more to the point, they may realize that their culture is a major obstacle towards complying with the western standards of beauty. As a result, the target audience will be miserable rather than excited about the new products. Planting specific production into the realm of another culture requires considerable caution and tactfulness.
Applegate, E. (1994). The ad men and women: A biographical dictionary of advertising.Westport, CT: Greenwood Press.
Arab Media Outlook. (2013). Arab Media outlook 2009-2013: inspiring local content.
Danesi, M. (2003). Forever young: The teen-aging of modern culture. Toronto, Canada: University of Toronto.
Hagenah, I. (2013). Middle Eastern women in a western advertising age.
Hala, N. M., Ryan; L. & Tiffany, C. (2011). Young urban women and the nutrition transition in Jordan. Public Health Nutrition, 14(4), 599 – 604
Muslim Media Watch (2012). Looking “pretty”: Muslim women and the world of cosmetic.