Men: Beauty or brawn, or both?
What makes a good-looking man? Is he clean-shaven, confident, and sexy? (Sounds like a good start!) Where is he more likely to come from? Are men using beauty-enhancing products or leaving their looks to nature? And do men and women see eye-to-eye on male beauty?
Synovate took a long, lingering look at male beauty in 12 markets across the world, speaking with nearly 10,000 people about beautiful blokes and what makes them that way. In our analysis, we discovered cultural differences as well as some surprises (do two-thirds of French men really believe they are not sexy?).
Do ya think I'm sexy?
Rod Stewart posed that perennial question to women in his classic 70s disco tune, but the Synovate male beauty study asked the men themselves. Of our nearly 5,000 male respondents, less than half (49%) agreed that they are sexy. However, there were vast differences in self-belief across markets.
Feeling sexy aside, where can the best-looking men be found? The survey asked all respondents, men and women, which one country has the best-looking men. Many people were simply not sure (it's hard to narrow it down to just one!) but there was a clear winner among the named countries...
So are men's looks actually important? We asked our male respondents to rank just how important their appearance is to them on a five-point scale. Overall, 34% of male respondents, or just over a third, rate their looks as very important to them. This was as high as 61% in South Africa, 55% in Brazil and 53% in Russia.
Beauty basics hit the bulls-eye
With this in mind, what is the bare minimum a man must do before he can be considered handsome? This was a question posed to respondents and the number one basic requirement is that a man practice good hygiene, including fresh breath. And pleasing women could be easier than men think...
Potions and lotions for blokes
The top three most used products by men across all the markets surveyed were deodorant at 72% usage, whitening toothpaste at 61% and cologne or after shave at 58%.
A hairy issue or a close shave?
To shave, or not, can also be something of a, err... hairy issue so Synovate asked male respondents whether or not they preferred the way they look with a clean-shaven face. In good news for razor companies, nearly eight in ten (79%) of men agreed that clean-shaven was best although there were significant differences between markets.
Male beauty: Taboo or beautiful opportunity?
Here at Synovate, we like to have fun with our facts, but there is a serious side to male beauty too.
US-based Bob Michaels offered the thought that a male beauty standard simply does not exist.
Seven in ten of all men surveyed say their main motive in looking good is for themselves. 35% of Brit blokes say it's for their partner... or to attract one!
77% of American women believe a man's appearance improves with age.
Only 6% of women in the US and 8% in Australia say their partner's looks are 'very important' to them whereas 58% of South African women admitted aesthetics are a high priority.
Overall, 13% of men said, from a list of attributes, they would least like to be bald, but this was as high as 24% in China.
69% of men in Brazil take their grooming products with them when they leave home (the overall total across the markets surveyed was 30%).
Chinese and Malaysian men were the least likely to consider plastic surgery in order to look better with 96% and 94% respectively saying no way to the knife.
About the Synovate global male beauty survey
This In:fact survey looked at male beauty and covered nearly 10,000 respondents in 12 markets around the world – Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Greece, Malaysia, Russia, South Africa, Spain, the United Kingdom (UK) and the United States of America (US). The study was conducted in October 2008 using online, telephone and face-to-face methodologies.