10 August 2011

Lessons of the Mini-Skirt

Studiously Uncool | Jules Aimé | The mini-skirt theory of marketing and politics

When I was at university the fashion industry reintroduced the miniskirt. It caused a political reaction in some people. That is to say, some people didn't just ask themselves whether they did or didn't like these things, they asked what it said about society at large that such a choice was being offered to women. They actively hated the miniskirt and hoped it would fail because they didn't want to live in a society where women dressed this way.

Feminists at the time claimed victory quickly. A pollster asked women and found that 95 percent of women didn't like miniskirts. [...] The thing is, Who cares what the majority of women think? At the time, I cared about what women who wore miniskirts thought. [...]

If you were a politician, you'd have to care because if the majority of women vote against you, you have a problem. But if you're selling miniskirts and only five percent of women buy your product you'll be fabulously wealthy.
This is why I don't like decisions being made through politics, even democratic politics. To be successful in the political realm you need half of the population plus one person to agree with you. To be successful in a market you need enough people to cover your costs plus one. One leaves room for diversity and disagreement and differences, while the other forces homogeneity and centralization.

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