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Asia Pacific Beauty and Appearance Study 2005

Universal McCann Asia Pacific Beauty and Appearance Study 2005

The question that everyman dreads to be asked by his partner is “Does my bum look big in this?” Do men say what they think; or do they say what they think their female partner wants to hear? So, for now we will leave that question for you to ponder.

Women are more focussed on beauty and what society considers beautiful than ever. However, how happy are women with their looks? Where do they think true beauty resides? With plastic surgery gaining more exposure in our media through magazines and TV shows, would New Zealand women really consider going under the knife? And how do these views compare with women in other countries across the Asia Pacific region.

Being beautiful has been showcased in the media with shows such as Nip/Tuck and Extreme Makeover, not to mention the countless reader makeovers that magazines offer to undertake. But do these really resonate with women? Communications agency Universal McCann asked women asked 900 New Zealand women questions to see how their attitudes towards beauty compared to women across Asia-Pacific. Whilst we found that on the whole NZ women are comfortable with their appearance with 50% saying that are either ‘Happy with their appearance’ or ‘Very happy with their appearance’. But, this finding ranks NZ women unhappier than women from Thailand and Singapore with Malaysian women being the happiest in our survey; whilst women from Taiwan and Hong Kong are amongst those who feel the most uncomfortable with their looks.

More detailed investigation uncovers that New Zealand women, in comparison with our Asian neighbours, really want to change their bodies from the navel down. Our Kiwi women feel that they would most like to change their stomachs, followed by their thighs and legs. Interestingly, NZ women seem happier with their breasts rather than the rest of their bodies. In comparison, we find that women from Hong Kong are the only nation who is happy with their stomachs; whereas Malaysians are concerned most about their skin. Most worryingly Taiwanese women appear to want to change almost everything including skin, breasts, hips and thighs.

New Zealand women are more likely to opt for natural options such as eating sensibly (68%) and going to the gym (63%). We also find that New Zealand Women are more likely to opt for surgery than women across the region with nearly a fifth of women saying that they would consider it; this fact also applies for facial surgery (10%). This new found and all embracing attitude also applies to their general outlook towards cosmetic surgery where nearly 80% say that its up to the individual and it doesn’t matter what anybody thinks about it.

Yet women surveyed don’t think that cosmetic surgery is a common occurrence in NZ, whereas women across Asia think that it is far more common.

So, going back to our original question ‘Does my bum look big in this?’ our New Zealand males would be well advised to simply say ‘I love what you’ve done with your hair’

This survey was conducted throughout May-August 2005 inclusively. Sample size 3992, Across Hong Kong, Malaysia, New Zealand, Singapore, Taiwan, and Thailand. Using Intuition a Universal McCann proprietary research tool.


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