[Maxine Walker-Harris | Contributing Writer]
Apparently women are paying more for the same products that men use, especially personal care products. I have recently found a lot of women talking about the “pink tax” and how unfair it is we have to pay more for the same products. Even the government is getting involved and ongoing petitions are calling for leading retailers to drop their prices.
I am all for the the pink tax because women’s products often have different or extra ingredients used in them. Although consumers do not actually choose what goes into the products designed for them, nor what packaging is used, and they buy purely based on what is available to them.
However, before this was brought to the attention of the world did any one of us actually notice there was a price difference? The answer is probably no; we all just buy what is available to us and, for women, there is a considerably larger range than there is for our male counterparts. We get the benefit of a wider choice, with different smells and materials being used.
Companies wouldn’t be able to charge these extra prices if we really thought we were getting the same product. Take for example if we were going to buy disposable razors, there is about a 13 per cent price difference between the men’s and women’s range in top stores such as Boots and the most obvious difference being that men’s are blue and women’s pink. But is this the only difference?
Men’s razors are practical and designed for their faces but women’s razors are designed for legs and personal areas; these areas can be more sensitive and therefore need a razor that has that little bit extra. We all are guilty of picking up personal care products and smelling them to see if it’s a fragrance we like. Men don’t have the wide choice available to us. Would we really be satisfied with a smaller choice and having to settle for something that is OK rather than our personal preference?
If we were to look at the price difference in dry cleaning a shirt for men and women there is a notable £2 difference in some branches. This can be explained as men’s shirts are simple in shape and material, whereas women’s are tailored to our shape and usually made with a delicate fabric. Therefore, it’s obvious that women’s items are likely to cost more.
Men do not usually care what their razor or anything else looks and smells like as long as it does the job. For women, this is completely different. How many of us will go shopping and see two similar tops, only to buy the more expensive one purely because we feel we are getting something extra for the money that will make us look and feel that little bit better? In this case, the reason women are willing to pay more is down to basic psychology; we see more value in the higher priced products.
If we as women abhor this difference then the power to change it lies in our own hands, as consumers we can choose to go buy the cheaper brands that are made for men but with obviously less to choose from. While the bright pink razors are marketed towards the female consumer no-one is forcing women to buy these products over the standard blue Bic razors.
If both the products really were the same, retailers would have been called out on it decades ago. I accept the price difference, that to be fair, we have never really noticed before.
I personally will continue walking past the men’s products towards the women’s for the simple reason that I value the wider choice and firmly believe there is that little bit extra included over the men’s products. This may be down to psychology and not be the actual case but, at the end of the day, we all have the power to make our own choices, I have made mine…. What will you choose?