Kindness, happiness, confidence, intelligence make Indian men & women beautiful: Ipsos global attitudes toward beauty survey

Mother is the biggest beauty influencer

The author(s)

  • Madhurima Bhatia Media Relations and Content lead
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Beauty is now more than skin deep.

A new global survey by Ipsos shows that attributes such as kindness, happiness, confidence, dignity, intelligence, wisdom make men and women more beautiful, instead of only the physical ones such as appearance of skin, body type, hairstyle, sexiness.

No ImageRole of non-physical attributes in defining beauty is an interesting trend. They are the overarching attributes which complete a person’s persona and thus make a person attractive. Inner beauty that manifests itself as happiness or confidence is increasingly becoming relevant. At the same time, globally as well as among Indians there are ideal physical parameters of beauty (as expected) but inner beauty is the cherry on the top,” says Amit Adarkar, CEO Ipsos India & Operation Director, APAC, Ipsos. 

Key attributes that make Indian women beautiful

The survey busts myths

The key attributes of beauty in the pecking order were – happiness (82%), confidence (82%), kindness (79%), dignity (78%), intelligence (77%), wisdom (77%), strength (74%), humour (70%), professional success (65%), youthfulness (64%), financial success (60%), sense of style (59%), body weight & shape(54%), spirituality/ religious faith (54%), facial appearance (54%), sexiness (53%), hairstyling (51%),  appearance of skin (51%) and make up/ cosmetic (41%).

Billy Joel singing: I don’t want clever conversations, I never wanna work that hard - maybe a thing of the past – intelligence and wisdom are beauty defining attributes, for women.

Interestingly, these beauty defining attributes are in sync with the global verdict. Globally too women are adjudged beautiful if they embody: kindness (71%), happiness (71%), dignity (70%), confidence (69%), intelligence (66%), wisdom (65%), humour (60%) etc. Make up/ cosmetics (26%), spiritual/ religious faith (30%) are lowest in the pecking order.

How about men? What attributes define beauty in Indian men?  

Other than happiness, all other attributes indicated are quite in sync with the popular perception for Indian men that make them stand out.  

Top beauty attributes that emerged for Indian men included: happiness (84%), confidence (84%), intelligence (80%), dignity (79%), wisdom (79%), strength (79%), professional success (69%), financial success (69%), youthfulness (63%), sense of style (58%), body weight & shape (57%), spirituality/  religious faith (57%), hairstyling (53%), sexiness (52%), facial expression (52%), appearance of skin (49%)  and make-up/ cosmetics (39%).

“Beauty defining non-physical attributes for both men and women are quite similar. May be we should re-work the old adage- ‘birds of the same feather flock together’ to ‘birds of the same disposition & personality flock together!" adds Adarkar. 

Key influencer for personal beauty routine

Marketers’ trust in influencers via influencer marketing is somewhat misplaced, for beauty tips.

84% Indian women say their mother is most influential in their personal beauty routine; 83% credit friends; 78% Indian women say their sister and other family members have influenced their personal beauty routine; 70% credit magazines and online videos; and 60% refer to Instagram and photo sharing for beauty tips.  

“While beauty routines are handed down from mothers to daughters, fashion magazines and Instagram have opened up new vistas for women to stay updated and fashion forward,” Adarkar added.

About the Study

These are the findings of a 27-country Ipsos survey conducted via Ipsos’s Global Advisor online survey platform between April 19th -May 3rd, 2019. The sample consists of 1000+ individuals in each of Australia, Brazil, Canada, China (mainland), France, Germany, Great Britain, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Spain, and the United States, and 500+ in each of Argentina, Belgium, Chile, Colombia, Hungary, India, Malaysia, Mexico, Peru, Poland, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, South Korea, Sweden and Turkey.

Online surveys can be taken as representative of the general adult population under the age of 75 in Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Canada, France, Germany, Great Britain, Hungary, Italy, Japan, Poland, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, and the United States. Online samples in Brazil, Chile, China (mainland), Colombia, India, Malaysia, Mexico, Peru, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Serbia, South Africa and Turkey are more urban, more educated and/or more affluent than the general population and the results should be viewed as reflecting the views of a more “connected” population.

Sample surveys and polls may be subject to other sources of error, including, but not limited to coverage error, and measurement error. The precision of the Ipsos online polls is measured using a Bayesian Credibility Interval. The credibility interval around percentages based on single-month data is of +/- 3.5 percentage points for markets where the monthly sample is 1,000+ and +/-4.8 points for markets where the monthly sample is 500+. Click here for more information on the Ipsos use of credibility intervals.

Where results do not sum to 100 or the ‘difference’ appears to be +/-1 more/less than the actual, this may be due to rounding, multiple responses or the exclusion of don't knows or not stated responses.


The author(s)

  • Madhurima Bhatia Media Relations and Content lead

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