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Young Vietnamese Consumers’ Makeup Application From Reference Group Perspective

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As the results of this study show, Vietnamese cultural values still hold strong impacts on Vietnamese young female consumers. By the nature of collectivism society, Vietnamese young girls still have the tendency of conforming to the social norm instead of standing out of the group. The natural and pure look is still the beauty orientation of most participants in this study. Although some cultural values are maintained, its meanings and values are slightly changed. The white skin is still a standard of beauty, but individuals interpret its meanings in different ways instead of traditionally considering it as a symbol of social status.

In terms of reference groups, their impacts on individuals do not fix at all time. Considering familial-based influence, parents’ objection to wearing makeup at school or at the early age creates barrier that make young girls be more hesitated and lessen their makeup in this context. As the girls acquired certain technique of makeup, parrents appear to be “Neglecting parents” or “Indulgent parents” (Baumrind, 1991). Parents might raise the concern on product quality and origin, and give opinions on their daughters’ look, but did not involve directly in their daughters’ beauty practice, particularly the use of makeup. In addition, similar to clothes, participants see makeup as a kind of fashion which themes subject to change by time and wearers’ age. The girls and their parents belong to different generations that have different beauty practice. Thus, they chose to refer to the reference groups that share the same values and characteristics such as friends, other beautiful girls and the beauty vloggers.

Individuals were found to be heavily influenced by peers. The encouragement and ubiquitous use of makeup by friends trigger individuals’ makeup trial. The peers pressure is another force that lead to individuals’ use of makeup. Furthermore, friends may influence consumers’ purchase intention, product trial, brand use and the choice of makeup style.

Hofstede et al. (2010) stated that the girls’ beauty ideals are most influenced by the parents, rather than the media or celebrities. However, in our study, beauty vloggers on YouTube appear to be a new reference group that exerts impacts on consumers’ perception toward the belief of beauty and makeup application. Beauty vloggers on YouTube play crucial role in the beauty practices of Vietnamese young female consumers. They provide knowledge, skills and updated trend as the rich source and alternatives for consumers to construct and present themselves.

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