Can Motherhood and Womanhood Co-Exist?

New Report Reveals 77 Percent of Moms Don't Do Enough to Take Care of


May 03, 2007, 01:00 ET from Suave

    CHICAGO, May 3 /PRNewswire/ -- For many women, an important rite of
 passage for womanhood is becoming a mother. However all too often, after
 the baby is born, the focus quickly shifts and the routines that were once
 rituals are buried in the bottom of the family laundry basket. While it's
 not surprising that their children and families come first, a new report of
 3,000 U.S. moms reveals that although most (76 percent) agree it's just as
 important for mothers to take care of themselves as their families, nearly
 eight in ten moms don't do enough.
     One of the biggest things falling by the wayside is her sense of
 feeling and looking beautiful. A whopping 84 percent admit they've let
 their appearance slide since becoming a mom and that taking care of their
 appearance has become more of a wish than a reality. The majority (66
 percent) say guilt is one of the barriers to self care.
     So, can motherhood and womanhood co-exist? Beauty brand Suave developed
 the Suave Motherhood vs. Womanhood Report to understand the many tradeoffs
 women face when they become moms and the consequences for their sense of
 womanhood. The study, conducted in partnership with Dr. Kathleen Gerson,
 New York University professor of sociology, also probed the benefits that
 occur when moms do put themselves back on the to-do list.
     Motherhood vs. Womanhood
     The Suave Motherhood vs. Womanhood Report reveals about one third of
 moms believe that being a mother and being a woman actually conflict.
 Furthermore, one in four moms (23 percent) can't remember the last time
 they did something that made them feel like a woman -- while 42 percent
 report it was more than a month ago.
     More evidence that moms' needs are low on the list:
     -- Although 67 percent of moms would rather get their pre-baby body back
        than their pre-baby sex life, exercise opportunities are tough to come
        by.  After shopping for themselves, exercise is the second most desired
        activity to pursue during coveted "me" time
     -- 66 percent admit they sometimes don't have enough time to take a shower
        or bath
     -- Some 80 percent have gone weeks or months without a haircut (even
        though they felt they needed one)
     -- Over half (53 percent) say that they've forgotten to brush their teeth
        in the morning
     "I've studied women and family dynamics for more than twenty years, and
 I'm not surprised that there's a conflict felt between being a woman and
 being a mother," says Professor Gerson. "Despite the rise of busier lives,
 mothers remain key family caregivers who are relied upon heavily by the
 whole family. So it's not surprising that moms often set aside or even
 forget their own needs. But moms also need to look out for themselves,
 which means doing things that help them keep an identity of their own apart
 from the role of mom."
     The Benefits Abound
     When moms do take care of themselves, an overwhelming 93 percent say it
 makes them feel good. Moms who take care of themselves report they feel
 happier (76 percent), more attractive (76 percent) and more self-confident
 (72 percent). Furthermore, taking care of themselves made 60 percent feel
 more feminine and just over half feel like they are setting a good example
 for their children.
     What else makes moms feel good? According to the study, eight in ten
 married moms admitted nothing made them feel prettier than a compliment
 from their husband.
     Professor Gerson adds "Mothers are caregivers, and taking time for
 themselves will not change that. Yet it's important for moms to find
 opportunities to put themselves on their list of priorities. It comes as no
 surprise that moms feel happier when they do take this step, and that doing
 so can have huge benefits for the entire family."
     Say Yes to Beautiful
     Suave believes motherhood and womanhood can co-exist and the brand is
 on a mission to wake up moms and encourage them to take care of themselves
 and get their beauty back. The brand's 360 degree "Say Yes to Beautiful"
 integrated marketing campaign reminds moms that beauty has a place amongst
 the dirty dishes and piles of laundry that are an inevitable part of
     "We know that these women love being moms, and that family is always a
 top priority," says Sarah Jensen, Director, Unilever Hair Care. "But we
 want to issue a wake up call to remind moms to look in the mirror, think
 about their beauty and put themselves back on the to-do list."
     The campaign's message and new advertising executions are lighthearted,
 and use startling statistics to nudge moms into action. Beyond its
 advertising, Suave has an exclusive partnership with the Hot Moms Club, an
 online community of empowered, confident mothers of all ages and walks of
 life who are committed to redefining motherhood. The Suave brand and its
 products are integrated into the content of the mom-to-mom online community
 and e-newsletter. Additionally, Suave and the Hot Moms Club are
 co-sponsoring events for moms in 2007.
     Suave has also partnered with Sprint to create "In the Motherhood," the
 first-ever web series by moms, for moms and about moms. The program
 involves real moms submitting stories about their everyday lives on, and webisodes starring actress Leah Remini are created
 from the winning entries. The webisodes debut online as well as on national
 daytime television in May. Visit for program
     Suave offers moms a guilt-free beauty solution, providing a wide
 variety of great performing hair care, skin care and deodorant products at
 a great price. For more information on the Suave "Say Yes to Beautiful
 Campaign" visit
     About the Suave Motherhood vs. Womanhood Report
     These results are of 3,009 surveys conducted March 26-April 2, 2007 by
 KRC Research. 1,004 interviews were conducted by telephone of a probability
 sample, representative of all moms ages 18 and older who only have children
 under the age of 15 nationwide. For this sample, the estimated sampling
 error is +/- 3.1 percent at a 95% confidence level. 2,005 interviews were
 conducted on-line and were obtained from pre-recruited research panels.
 They may or may not be nationally representative, but even before
 weighting, their responses closely mirrored the probability sample.
     About Suave
     Suave offers more than 300 personal care products including body
 washes, body lotion, in-shower body lotion, hair care and
 anti-perspirants/deodorants. A Unilever Home & Personal Care Brand, Suave
 is available nationwide in food, drug and mass outlet stores. Suave, a name
 that has been trusted for quality and value for 70 years, is purchased by
 61 percent of American households each year. Sixteen Suave products are
 sold every second. For more information, visit
     Unilever (NYSE:   UL, UN), one of the world's largest consumer products
 companies, aims to add vitality to life by meeting everyday needs for
 nutrition, hygiene and personal care. Each day, around the world, consumers
 make 150 million decisions to purchase Unilever products. The company has a
 portfolio of brands that make people feel good, look good and get more out
 of life.
     In the United States these brands include recognized names such as:
 Axe, "all," Ben & Jerry's, Bertolli, Breyers, Caress, Country Crock,
 Degree, Dove personal care products, Hellmann's, Lipton, Knorr, Popsicle,
 Promise, Q-Tips, Skippy, Slim-Fast, Snuggle, Suave, Sunsilk and Vaseline.
 All of the preceding brand names are registered trademarks of the Unilever
 Group of Companies. Dedicated to serving consumers and the communities
 where we live, work and play, Unilever in the United States employs
 approximately 13,000 people in 60 office and manufacturing sites in 24
 states and Puerto Rico -- generating nearly $10 billion in sales in 2006.
 For more information visit