Not what this woman wants


I find myself grinding my teeth every time the “What A Woman Wants Show” billboards pop up around the Salt Lake Valley. The sales expo aimed at women is a legitimate event, the art on the billboards is cute, and there’s nothing wrong with the services. What bothers me is the implication in the marketing: Women love nothing better than to shop and spend lots of time on their appearance.

“Shop, Shop [sic] til you drop!! Grab your girlfriends and plan on spending the day! We’ve got everything women want! On the spot makeovers, skin care, the latest in home decor, to health and wellness,” chirps the website for the event this weekend.

Everything women want – really? I realize this is supposed to be a fun, light-hearted “me time” outing – but I still think this pitch is insulting to Utah women. Does this mean women aren’t that interested in, say, learning more about biology? (Might be relevant to the skin treatments offered.) Or learning another language, talking about other cultures, learning about history or current events, discussing some great books? Well, at least health and wellness will be included at “What A Woman Wants.”

I suppose this is an example of supply and demand in a free market. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with super-white teeth, or jewelry, or microdermabrasion, but this is certainly not “everything” I want. I’m sure I could use a makeover, but if I want to take some time for myself, going to this kind of event – crowds, emphasis on appearance – is not what I’m going to choose. I’d rather take a hike in the canyon or read a book or go to a movie.

And so I will vote with my wallet – my money won’t support this weekend’s event. As far as expos go, this woman would rather go to the Utah RV Show or the Home & Garden Festival.

Yes, I am criticizing the marketing for something I’ve never attended. I suspect there is more substance involved than is apparent. But it’s hard to tell from the advertising, which obviously targets what organizers think will appeal to women in the Salt Lake Valley the most.

I look forward to the day when, due to demand from Utah’s women, marketers realize “what women want” goes far beyond appearance, skin care and clothing.