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Press release
Fashion and Lifestyle|Retail|FMCG|Trends and Forecasting|Global|English

1 in 10 completely satisfied with their looks


Over half of people internationally are fairly satisfied or completely satisfied with their personal looks

  • Teenagers only slightly more likely to be dissatisfied than older age groups
  • Japanese are the most self-critical, with over 1 in 10 “not at all satisfied’

With summer fast approaching the northern hemisphere and consumers preparing to be ‘beach ready’, GfK has released findings on how satisfied people internationally are with their personal looks. 

Across all 22 countries surveyed, over half (55 percent) of consumers aged 15 and over say they are satisfied with their looks, which includes over one in ten (12 percent) who go as far as saying that they are completely satisfied. In contrast, only 16 percent claim any dissatisfaction with how they look, including three percent who state that they are not at all satisfied. The remaining 29 percent are neutral.

Latin American countries are happiest with their looks

Complete satisfaction with personal looks is highest in Latin America, with Mexico, Brazil and Argentina all appearing in the top five for the percentage of population claiming this. When we widen this to include those who say they are fairly satisfied, as well as those who are completely satisfied, Mexico comes out on top, standing at nearly three quarters (74 percent), closely followed by Turkey at 71 percent. Brazilians and Ukrainians come next at 65 percent each, with the Spanish, Germans and Argentinians all tying at 62 percent. The Japanese are the most critical of their own looks, with 38 percent not too satisfied or not at all satisfied, followed by the British, Russians and South Koreans all standing at  20 percent and Swedes tying with Australians at 19 percent.

These findings are key for businesses in the fashion, beauty and personal grooming sectors in identifying how messaging can be refined to resonate more strongly with specific markets or target groups. In countries like Japan, UK and Russia, significant numbers will respond to marketing based around ‘improve or change your look’, while consumers in Mexico and Turkey are more likely to respond to offers around ‘refine and maintain your look’.

Teenagers only slightly more critical about their looks

While there is some lean towards teenagers being most self-critical about their looks, it is not as heavy as might be expected – and comes almost wholly from those who are a little bit dissatisfied rather than entirely so. Overall, 16 percent of 15-19 year olds say they are “not too satisfied” with their looks, compared to 12-13 percent for the age groups between 20 and 59 years old. And this difference disappears almost completely when we look at those saying they are not at all satisfied with their looks. Here, all the different age groups stand at either 3 or 4 percent. Overall, people aged 60 and over are least self-critical, with just nine percent being not too satisfied with their looks and three percent not at all satisfied.

Men and women are almost equal

Comparison of the male and female responses also sheds new light on the assumption that women are more critical of their looks than men. Both genders run equal in the percentage that are happy with their looks – each standing at 43 percent saying they are fairly satisfied and 12 percent completely satisfied. However, men are more likely to be neutral about this question than women (31 percent versus 27 percent). When it comes to being dissatisfied with their looks, women creep ahead of the men, but only by a few points – 14 percent being not too satisfied, compared to 11 percent of men, and 4 percent being not at all satisfied, compared to 3 percent of men.

About the study

GfK conducted an online survey (face to face in Ukraine) with over 27,000 people aged 15 or older in 22 countries. Fieldwork was carried out in summer 2014. In the countries surveyed online, the data have been weighted to reflect the demographic composition of the online population age 15+ in each market. In the countries surveyed face-to-face, the study is representative of the top-tier urban population aged 15+ excluding the lowest SES levels. The countries included in this press release are Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Poland, Russia, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Taiwan, Turkey, UK, Ukraine and USA.

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About GfK

GfK is the trusted source of relevant market and consumer information that enables its clients to make smarter decisions. More than 13,000 market research experts combine their passion with GfK’s long-standing data science experience. This allows GfK to deliver vital global insights matched with local market intelligence from more than 100 countries. By using innovative technologies and data sciences, GfK turns big data into smart data, enabling its clients to improve their competitive edge and enrich consumers’ experiences and choices.

For more information, please visit www.gfk.com or follow GfK on Twitter: https://twitter.com/GfK

Responsible under press legislation:
GfK SE, Global Communications
Jan Saeger
Nordwestring 101
90419 Nuremberg Germany

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