WhyFive director, Stuart Lowe, says, “We stood on the other side of the mirror and stared into the hearts and minds of different market segments, specifically in terms of culture, age and gender, and gained invaluable insights into the market for fashion, health and beauty products. These markets exist because people want to look and feel their best.”

The global cosmetics and perfume industry is estimated to be worth around $180 billion a year. People want to look and feel their best, and if it takes a small fortune to do it, that doesn’t seem to matter.

It is no surprise then to find confirmation that women feel a lot more pressure to look good than their male counterparts. The male ego rises to the top time and again in the research results, most of them being quite happy with themselves exactly – or more or less - the way they are. It’s also no surprise to find that someone’s tummy is likely to be the body part they are least happy with.

But some of the results are surprising: 63% of males have had a beauty treatment, compared to 92% of females. Monthly expenditure on beauty treatments, skincare products, cosmetics and perfumes by various groups are fascinating, while South Africans apparently consume around 4 500 litres of beer a minute, yet a significant percentage of the sample groups hardly ever or never touch alcohol (OK, these respondents were largely female).

The SA Body Image Report survey was conducted online with a healthy sample of 1213 respondents. Apart from overall body image the scope of the survey covers: exercise, beauty treatments, dieting and food, health, cosmetic surgery, health and life expectancy, eyesight, hair, magazine readership, brand usage, smoking, consumption of red meat and alcohol, all as part of the body image overview.

For more information, visit www.whyfive.co.za or email Stuart Lowe at [email protected].