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23 Sep
2012

Reflection (part 2)

First of all this week, I would like to offer each of you the opportunity to share with me if you want me to continue to send discussion topics. He response rate has been low, as observed by those who have participated.

How to Get Your Voice Heard

The desire to gain or improve status can also be recognized in actions by people who want a greater voice in the activities of social, political, or other regulating organizations.

But recently, simple protest or marches don't seem to be enough for activists. We've seen the violent confrontations in China over the disputed Diaoyus territories with Japan, and here in Hong Kong, mass rallies and hunger strikes contributed to winning the day over the government's plans to National Education. This is of course a global trend as we witness the current deadly protests of the United States and France.

But is it going too far and over incidences too trivial? In Madrid, 60 people were hurt as music fans rioted when a filled-to-capacity venue hosting an MTV concert was closed to further entry. And in Amsterdam, youths vandalized shops set a car on fire, damaged lamp posts, and scores of injuries were reported, after they were denied admission to a private birthday party. The cause: about 30,000 people received an invitation to a girl's 16th birthday party after she announced the fete on Facebook and it went viral. She forgot to set her Facebook settings to private.

My inquiry to you, from an Asian perspective, is violent protest and rioting becoming the norm to making one's point of view heard? Have we lost the value of dialogue and compromise?

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12 Aug
2012

It's the fourth week of submitting inquiries to you. I'm citing observations and others' opinions about Asian consumer behavior that have attracted my curiosity. I hope these issues are also of interest to you and help you to better know the shopper and what your business needs to do to cater to them.

As you know, the weekly distribution of topics remains accessible on my blog and you can join in the discussion at any time. One final note: If you have had trouble posting or recording your post on the blog, please excuse the difficulty and email me with you experiences.

Physical Appearance Status

This study is meant to determine to what extreme the Asian consumer will go to satisfy their desire to improve or gain status. But in several articles published recently, it has been noted that some factions of the public in the region will take to extremes to protect or change their appearance is a quest for a desired level of status. In SCMP, a feature was printed about the growing popularity of "face masks" wore by sun bathers at local beaches.

Photo from SCMP

For many middle-class Chinese women, the desire for pale skin outweighs the shocked looks and joking comments by fellow beach-goers. The publication quoted an idiom, which women, young and old know by heart, "Fair skin conceals a thousand flaws."

In Shanghai, hospitals report a growing trend of "minors, mostly 15 to 18 years old, often received double eyelid surgery to widen the appearance of the eye, the least risky and most popular cosmetic procedure for minors. But having a face lift is not recommended until a person is at least 18 years old." Other requested cosmetic surgeries, requiring implants, are also refused by the hospitals for teens whose bodies are still developing. This growth in cosmetic surgery requests by this market segment is fueled by "dreams of stardom among youngsters and a more open attitude by parents."

http://www.shanghaidaily.com/sp/article//Metro/2012/08/08/Plastic+surgery+trendy+among+minors+but+risky

What do you think of these status-driven trends? Do you think the desire to look attractive or of a specific cultural level encourage extreme, risky or dangerous behavior? And what about parents attitude towards it?

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