What Women Want?

August 1, 2006

When Elisa and I first arrived at BlogHer, we ambled over to the tent where sponsors and vendors were giving away freebies to conference attendees. Front and center were Weight Watchers and Comex bottled water–a new Nestle product that features added calcium and magnesium. The Comex gal sprung into action, handing me an ice-cold bottle and without a beat, telling me how these added minerals could help me lose weight by making my body burn calories faster.

I was pretty taken aback. Now, my body could benefit from more calcium and magnesium for other reasons, like countering stress and staving off osteoporosis. But I am built like a stick–no boobs, no hips. That’s why I like the idea of reincarnation: in my next life I hope to experience cleavage and curves!

A co-worker who has been training to become a nutritionist told me that a fellow student who was underweight went into a Jenny Craig outlet as an experiment, and expressed the desire to lose twenty pounds. The Jenny Craig representative promptly drew up a weight loss plan for her.

The inference is that all women wish to lose weight, regardless of their body type. And that related products or services would be something that many women bloggers would want. I read a discussion thread where commenters were debating whether or not the presence of Weight Watchers and the absence of tech marketers was sexist.

Majikthise, one of the bloggers on the political blogging panel we attended, was similarly confounded by the marketeers represented at BlogHer:

The corporate sponsors of at BlogHer are, in many ways, more interesting than the program itself…

I’m trying to figure out exactly what the sponsors think they’re going to get out of their connection with BlogHer. I think they see us as “influentials” in a larger social marketing scheme…

I was expecting to see a lot more gadgets and gizmos at a blogging conference. There are a few technological services (photo hosting, social bookmarking), but almost no hardware on display.

Well, I did get a free Elexa condom in my BlogHer tote. Now that I can use.