The La Belle superyacht was recently introduced as a “floating boudoir for women,” according to designer Lidia Bersani. The superyacht is encrusted with gold and crystals and includes a spa with a beauty center, large mirrors and wardrobes.
Bersani said "I felt, as a lady, it was my duty to design something especially for us, where we can feel a woman's touch.”
There are two reasons I think this vessel could be problematic: It paints women with a broad stroke and it was built based on Bersani’s limited worldview.
“Girlifying” our products as a marketing strategy to target women is not the answer. We need to remember that, just like men, women make up half the population and encompass varying interests and tastes. The best way to market to women is to conduct consumer research, find out what draws their attention and cater to those needs and wants.
Bersani defended her yacht by saying "I don't know a single woman who does not like flowers and is not dreaming of diamonds.” That very well may be true but just because Bersani hasn’t met such a woman doesn’t mean that woman doesn’t exist. My girlfriends and I are all tea drinkers but not all women drink tea.
This isn’t to say that I don’t support efforts to get women more involved in boating – I wholeheartedly do – but by marketing to a specific type of woman and calling the product “for women,” we alienate every woman who doesn’t fit that model.
We don’t want to alienate anyone – we want to include everyone. That is how we grow boating.