Friday, March 18, 2011

Bridget Brennan's Mencyclopedia

Post by Melissa Colabella

Blame it on society, hormones, or the way we utilize the left-hand corner of our hippocampus. Whatever science or theory lies behind the reasoning, one thing is for certain - men and women think differently and it is often a struggle trying to decode the opposite gender.

Bridget Brennan is the CEO of Female Factor and author of "Why She Buys", the book from where I took this excerpt. She has pioneered business strategies that appeal to women consumers and worked with many of the world's largest companies to put those strategies into practice. She has put together a  glossary of terms in her "Mencyclopedia" to help men in corporate America decode women's speech. It helps serve as a translation guide in "how to speak female". After countless conversations with male clients I thought sharing a few may be relevant, if not entertaining.

Black Pants: The perfect pair is always elusive, but once found, it can magically make hundreds of outfits out of whatever else is hanging in our closet. Our lives are incomplete without the right pair. These magic pants can take us from day to evening, make us look sleek with a tailored jacket, and are always slimming enough to attract compliments that we will modestly deflect.

Breast Implants: We women can usually tell who's got them. Upon spotting fake breasts, we typically feel one or more of the following contradictory emotions: fascination, fury, jealousy, admiration, disgust, love, and hate for our own flawed but natural scoops of flesh.

Chardonnay: This is the default drink for any social occasion, serving several purposes for females: first, ordering it sounds feminine (men are rarely overheard ordering chardonnay); second, it keeps your teeth from turning gray like the tastier reds do; and finally, no one can accuse you of being a sleazy alcoholic if all you're drinking is chardonnay.

Empowered: A word men don't often find occasion to use. Women tend to use it quite a bit, especially in business and almost always in reference to decision-making power. Not to be confused with empanada, which is a very tasty Mexican pastry

Investment Purchase: Women will often use this term to justify an exorbitant fashion purchase. But an investment is something that increases in value. When was the last time you went to a consignment store and saw something that's more expensive now than it was originally? (If you're a man, you've probably never been to a consignment store.) The answer is never. It's just a phrase that helps justify an expensive purchase.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Yale University Uncovers the 'Self-Esteem' Impact of a Bad Hair Day

By Melissa Colabella

Yale University did a study sponsored by Physique, a hair care line from Proctor and Gamble, about the impact on our self-esteem if we have a "bad hair day." Both men and women felt similar insecurities.

The three take-aways from the study were:

1) Bad hair lowers self-esteem regarding performance. "The perception of bad hair leads to a reduced sense of performance self-esteem. Just the thought of a bad hair day caused both men and women to feel that they are not as smart as others. Surprisingly, the impact was more pronounced among men.

2) Bad hair increases social insecurity.  "Women tend to feel more disgraced, embarrassed, ashamed or self-conscious.  Men feel more nervous, less confident, and are inclined to be less social."

3) Bad hair intensifies self-criticism. "Evidence shows that bad hair causes one to be more negative about oneself."