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
-- 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
http://www.msn.com, 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 http://www.inthemotherhood.com 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 http://www.suave.com.
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.
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 http://www.suave.com.
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
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 http://www.unileverusa.com.