NewYork, 27.01.2016

US Consumers Cite Self-Esteem as Top Motivation for Grooming – GfK

Americans spend 5.3 hours weekly on personal grooming

New GfK findings show that “to feel good about myself” and “to please my spouse or partner” are the top two motivators for grooming among US consumers. The results are part of a new GfK survey – among over 27,000 consumers in 22 countries – investigating reasons for trying to look good and the amount of time spent on grooming.

GfK asked consumers to choose among common reasons for personal grooming, which is defined here as any activities involving bathing, shaving, dressing, hair and make-up. The most popular motivation in the US, cited by 62 percent of consumers here, is “to feel good about myself.” Americans spend an average of 5.3 hours weekly on personal grooming. Globally, 60% of consumers cited “to feel good about myself” as their main grooming motivation; respondents worldwide spend roughly 4 hours weekly on grooming practices.

Other US reasons: Spouse, individuality
In the US, “to please my spouse or partner” and “to express individuality” were tied as the second most cited reason for grooming, scoring 35% each. “To make a good first impression” took fourth place (34%), and “because it makes me feel in control” came in fifth (33%).

Men and women display notable differences
Among Americans, gender plays a vital role in the motivations for personal grooming. Despite holding mostly similar views, men and women assign different levels of importance to each motivation. For example, even though both men and women cite self-esteem as their top motivation, a significantly greater proportion of women mentioned it as their biggest reason (71% versus 52%).



US Men

US Women

“To feel good about myself”





“To express my individuality”




“To please my spouse or partner”





“To make a good first impression”





“To make a good impression on those I find attractive”




“To feel in control”





           * Does not appear in the top 5

Top motivations change with age
Among the age groups surveyed, all cited “to feel good about myself” as the major motivation for grooming (over 50 percent for all). Unsurprisingly, for the 20 to 29 and 30 to 39 groups, “to make a good first impression” ranked as the second most popular reason. For those aged 40 and above, “to please my spouse or partner” appears for the first time in this year’s results and remains in the top three for all age groups. Notably, “to express my individuality” disappears at age 30 and only re-emerges in the 50 to 59 years group

About the study
GfK conducted an online survey with over 27,000 consumers aged 15 or older in 22 countries. Online data were collected using a staggered field start that completed in June 2015 and weighted to reflect the demographic composition of the online population age 15+ in each market. The countries included are Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, China, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Netherlands, Poland, Russia, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Turkey, UK and USA.    

1The survey question asked: “Here are the reasons some people have given for trying to look their best. For each one, please indicate if it is a major reason why you try to look your best: To feel good about myself / Because it is important for my career / Because it is expected of me / To be admired and respected by other people / To please my spouse or partner / To make a good impression on people whom I meet for the first time / To express my individuality / To set a good example for my children / To make a good impression on people of the opposite sex or those that I find attractive / Because it makes me feel in control.

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 or follow GfK on Twitter.

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