Almost No One Completely Satisfied with Appearance

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Unsurprisingly, about one in 10 people around the world are completely satisfied with their personal looks, according to a new report from GfK. Teenagers were predictably most dissatisfied.

About 55% of respondents from 22 countries claimed to be somewhat satisfied with their appearance. At the same time, just 16% of survey participants reported some dissatisfaction with their looks, while 3% claimed to be not at all satisfied. About 29% of respondents were neutral.

Takeaways for Marketers: Regions & Segments

Marketing campaigns focused on improved or changed looks will be most effective in the United Kingdom, Japan and Russia, according to insights gleaned by GfK (see global differences below). On the other hand, "refine or maintain your look" positioning is likely to succeed in markets such as Mexico and Turkey.

Meanwhile, teenagers have an elevated, but not significantly larger sense of self-critique compared to older consumers. According to GfK, "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."

Overall, people aged 60 and over are the least self-critical, with just 9% being "not too satisfied" with their looks. Just 3% of this group are not at all satisfied.

Men and women are almost equal, with both genders running equal in the percentage that are happy with their looks (43%) and those that are completely satisfied (12%).

GfK adds, "However, men are more likely to be neutral about this question than women (315 versus 27%). When it comes to being dissatisfied with their looks, women creep ahead of the men, but only by a few points: 14% being not too satisfied, compared to 11% of men, and 4% being not at all satisfied, compared to 3% of men."

Global Differences

Interestingly, the GfK survey revealed regional differences in appearance satisfaction. Notably:

  • Japanese respondents were reportedly most self-critical, with "38% not too satisfied or not at all satisfied."
  • Latin American respondents were happiest with their looks, with complete satisfaction rates highest in Mexico, Brazil and Argentina. Mexico led the "fairly satisfied" category globally.
  • About 71% of Turkish respondents reported feeling "fairly satisfied" with their appearance.
  • About 65% of Ukrainians reported themselves as "fairly satisfied."
  • Just 20% of British, Russian and South Korean respondents reported feeling "fairly satisfied," while Swedes and Australians reported "fairly satisfied" rates at 19%.


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