London, Feb 14 IANS | 8 months ago

Not wearing that 'sexy' lingerie on Valentine's Day won't make you less feminine; instead, different types of underwear could also get you that feeling, suggests an expert.

"TV makeover shows and glossy magazines can leave women feeling guilty for not wearing 'sexy' lingerie - especially on Valentine's Day," feels underwear consumption expert Dr Christiana Tsaousi.

"Underwear choices are hugely affected by personal taste influenced by social background, professional status and upbringing. Every woman's underwear needs are individual," explained Dr Tsaousi, a lecturer at University of Leicester's School of Management in the UK.

The 'shaping' underwear, for example, prescribed by reality TV shows, is an unhelpful way of thinking about how women should choose what they wear, added Dr Tsaousi.

According to her, on Valentine's, some women may feel the only way to feel feminine is to wear the 'sexy' underwear promoted by the media in general. But this is really not the case.

"The reality shows present femininity where you feel nice about yourself because you have a body that needs to be expressed.

"Having that as an aim, participants on such shows are given underwear that's going to mould the body in a certain way," she said.

"Women learn to choose underwear for the right situation. In an ideal world, it would be good if reality shows acknowledge that women can feel feminine by wearing different underwear," she stressed.

These shows can make you feel guilty about the way you look and the way you feel about your body if you aren't wearing underwear considered sexy, Dr Tsaousi observed.

To reach this conclusion, she interviewed women from a wide range of groups and backgrounds, including university lecturers, young mums and female rugby players.

The parameters were influence of women's upbringing, profession, age and social status on their underwear choices.

Some groups such as the young rugby girls favoured "cute" underwear while for others, such as academics something that

supports their professional dress was the main priority.

"The paper indicates that women's choices in underwear are determined by factors such as our ways of thinking, up-bringing, taste and status in society," Dr Tsaousi said.

The study of the consumption of underwear is an area which has not been explored in detail by academics - but is very important to the market, concluded the research published in the Journal of Consumer Culture.

(Posted on 14-02-2014)

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