I was sitting in the German headquarters of Unilever a few weeks ago—it’s an incredible eco-building that is very modern and cool-looking—and was talking to their head of supply chain. He was lamenting that the reason consumers don’t buy more organic products is “because organic’s not sexy enough.”
Think about that for a minute. Everyone complains out the wazoo about the price of organic food. But here are a few expensive things you never hear ANYONE complaining about the price of: Manolo Blahniks and other designer shoes, gourmet coffee and chocolates, fancy cars, flat-screen TVs, designer handbags, and finally, (often toxic) beauty products. OK, admittedly, there are many people who can’t afford to buy those things and simply won’t—but there are a lot of people who CAN afford those things and DO, but don’t buy organic foods and products because, well, they just aren’t sexy enough.
So what makes something sexy? It’s got to look good…really good. It’s got to taste good (and I mean yummy). It’s got to make you feel special and excited…and hot. It’s got to give you pleasure…intense pleasure. Does that describe your usual trip to the health food store? (Farmer’s markets have the added bonus of an opportunity to flirt with the cute farmers, which can be sort of sexy.)
When it comes to clothing and accessories, it’s hard to find organic options that don’t make you feel like a Rastafarian-college-dropout magnet. The sole exception clothing-wise is Stewart and Brown. But handbags? Not so much. Shoes? There are a few functional eco-shoe companies, but still, the style is more Danish nurse with a harsh bedside manner than sex kitten (I mean, both have their fetish qualities to them, but still, the harsh Danish nurse sex appeal might excite only a minority). Blue Canoe is doing a decent job of ramping up the sexy quotient on its organic underwear, but it still feels like you’re little-girl cute rather than hot mamma. I’m just sayin’!
Personally, I believe sexy is an attitude that you really don’t need anything to augment (think…NAKED!), although, having someone to appreciate your sexiness is the most important and invaluable accessory. But I think there is some truth in that German businessman’s thought, in that sex truly does sell, and anything can be either sexy or not so sexy—there are some universal laws of sexiness, I suppose. And it probably has a lot to do with anything that reminds anyone of certain body parts that are sources of sexual pleasure, or of sensual pleasures and aphrodisiacs. Scientists tell us that the color red is sexy, for instance. In fact, I’ve seen studies that show guys won’t even notice what you are wearing (including nail polish) unless it is bright red. Turns out that bulls are colorblind, but guys aren’t. And organic beige is neither stimulating nor sexy. So in one of my upcoming blogs I’m going to share my top 10 list of ways to make organic sexy, but in the meantime, I want to find out what you think.