According to a recent study by the Nielsen Company South African men are among the most image and gr4ooming conscious in the world.

In a society obsessed with beautiful people and celebrities, where the size zero debate continues and airbrushed photographic images adorn billboards and magazine covers, it is perhaps unsurprising that over two thirds of consumers the world over agree the pressure to look good is much greater now than it was in our parents’ day.

Nielsen surveyed 25,408 internet users Europe, Africa, Asia Pacific, North America and the Middle East about their attitudes to personal grooming.

Despite this apparent universal pressure to ‘look good’, over two thirds of respondents claimed not to spend much more than they used to on beauty products and treatments. South Africans, however, are generally vainer than the global average, with 41% of respondents agreeing that they do in fact now spend more on beauty products and treatments than they used to.

This could be partially driven by the large number of our country’s men now using personal grooming products, as 91% of South African respondents agreed that it is acceptable for men to spend time and money enhancing their appearance. Teens and those in their 20’s, unsurprisingly, claimed to spend more than they used to on beauty products and treatments, while at the other end of the scale, it seems the older you get, the less you spend.

Globally, nearly three quarters of consumers agree that the pressure to look good today is greater than it was in our parents’ day – especially for men it seems. In South Africa 94% of respondents agreed that men are more interested in personal grooming than they used to be.

Around the world, some nations are far more concerned about style than others, with 87% of Brazilians claiming to try look stylish at all times, followed by the Portuguese (79%) and Greeks (76%). At the other end of the style scale, four in five people in Hong Kong said they didn’t care about looking stylish.

70% of South African consumers said they invested in personal grooming to feel better about themselves, and almost three quarters of respondents do it to look good for their partner, while only 41% said they did it to attract one!

It must be noted that this survey is a reflection of internet users’ attitudes and therefore represents online consumers’ behaviour and attitudes only.

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