Making Unique Observations in a Very Cluttered World

Wednesday, 27 July 2011

Moms are copying their teen daughters’ style, study says - mimicking the way the teens dress and apply makeup -

Moms are copying their teen daughters’ style, study says - mimicking the way the teens dress and apply makeup - 
It's called the doppleganger effect. A survey of 343 mother-daughter pairs showed busy mothers (like, say, Dina Lohan) look to their teen daughters (for example, actress Lindsay Lohan) for style cues, mimicking the way the teens dress and apply makeup.

Like daughter, like mother?
The days of “You’re not leaving the house in that” may be numbered as mothers are taking fashion cues from their teenaged daughters, a new study suggests.
While conventional wisdom says young girls look to their mothers for clues on how to behave, research from Philadelphia’s Temple University Fox School of Business found that moms are copying their teens’ choices in makeup, clothing and overall style.
“If you walk into any one of our malls, you see women who look like their daughters,” says Ayalla A. Ruvio, a marketing professor at Temple who notes this observation spurred the study.
Ruvio says she was interested in the ways consumers mimic not only purchases but also the overall look of people they admire — which she has dubbed the “consumer doppelganger effect.”
It turns out, “the impact adolescents have on their parents is much more profound than has been credited to them,” says Ruvio.
The findings will be published in an upcoming issue of the Journal of Consumer Behavior.
The study polled 343 Israeli mother-daughter pairs on their fashion and shopping habits. The average age of the mothers was 44 while the average age of the teens was 16.
The researchers found that mothers with a keen eye for fashion, who they describe as “young at heart,” are more likely to see their daughters as a style expert and copy her fashion habits.
Ruvio notes, though, that the mothers surveyed wouldn’t describe their habits as mimicking, but rather as trying to look younger.
“They’ve got jobs, houses to run. They don’t have time to monitor the media to see what is hip, what is not. So they take a shortcut, that’s all what teenaged girls do,”she says. “Just by mimicking the daughters they get a shortcut as to what is the right look to be young and hip.”
Of course, not all mothers agree that they should be emulating the edgy, skimpy looks of their teenage offspring.
“What your child is wearing is not appropriate for you to wear, and vice-versa,” says Erica Ehm of Yummymummyclub.ca. “Children are wearing clothes that are too grown up for them, and conversely, there’s the uncomfortable image of a mom wearing clothes that are more comfortable for a teenager’s body and stage of life.
“Trying to look like a teenager, to me, that’s the least attractive thing a woman can wear.”
Daughters are likely to agree.
Even fashion-savvy, mature teens aren’t going to copy their moms, says Ruvio. Instead, they’re copying the styles of celebrity role models and aren’t too thrilled when mom steps out in a matching outfit.
“The girls really do not like that,” Ruvio said. “They’re aware of what their mother is doing … they love the fact their mother is looking cool and young. They just don’t like that their mother is looking like them. They want them to look young, and hip and cool in a different way.”
Ehm expects such copying would be met with an exaggerated eye roll.
“That’s her space. There’s nothing wrong with mom looking edgy and glamourous, but you have to do it differently than a teenager would.”

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