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Male Beauty Survey Reveals a Universal Need to be Masculine

Posted: December 3, 2008

Global market intelligence company Synovate recently released findings from a global male beauty survey showing that 81% of Greek men feel sexy, Italian men are rated as the best-looking and 56% of all male respondents use beauty products created for, and marketed to, men.

In October 2008, Synovate took a 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 the analysis, the company discovered cultural differences as well as some surprises.

Who's sexy?

The study asked men whether they think they are sexy. 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. Blessed with Adonis complexes, 81% of Greek men think they are sexy, closely followed by the Russians (80%) and South Africans (78%). At the other end of the scale, 78% of Malaysian males said they are not sexy, along with China and France (both 66%).

Ciao Bello!

So 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, but there was a clear winner among the named countries ... say 'ciao Bello' to Italian men.

The top four homes for good-looking men across all markets studied were Italy (11%), United States (US), Russia and Brazil (all 8%). The fact that Italy was on top when it comes to looks was even more impressive as it was not one of the markets surveyed. These men clearly have an excellent reputation for looks all across the world, among both men and women (12% of our male respondents said Italians and 10% of women did).

So are men's looks actually important? The firm asked male respondents to rank just how important their appearance is to them on a five-point scale. Overall, 34% of male respondents, or just more than 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. The markets with the fewest men saying 'very important' were Australia (where only 12% say their looks are very important to them) and the US (15%).