Behold, the South African male

South African men are world leaders in believing they are good-looking—and are the most committed to their shaving mirrors, a global survey revealed on Tuesday.

Seventy-eight percent of the respondents said they believed they were sexy. And their motive for looking good was to please themselves, said market intelligence company Synovate.

This was way above the world average—out of the 5 000 men surveyed in 12 countries world-wide, 49% believed they were sexy.

Only Greek men (81%) and Russian men (80%) topped what the researchers labelled the “Adonis complex”.

Malaysian, Chinese and French men had lower opinions of themselves. Seventy-eight percent of Malaysian men believed they were not sexy, while 66% of both Chinese and French men did not think they were good-looking.

The results originate from 10 000 interviews with both men and women conducted on October in 12 countries—South Africa, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Greece, Malaysia, Russia, Spain, the United Kingdom and the United States.

Though Italy was not included in the survey, Italian men were rated the best-looking in the world.

South African men were the “most committed to their shaving mirrors”, with 90% agreeing that they preferred the look of a clean-shaven face, followed by China (88%) and Spain (84%).

“Most likely to embrace the beard were men from Greece (34% disagreed they preferred to be clean-shaven), Australia and Brazil (both 25%) and Canada (24%),” Synovate said in a statement.

Ninety-two percent of SA women preferred clean-shaven men—the most among the 12 countries surveyed.

About two thirds of South African men used beauty products specially designed for men.

“However, 36% of South African men believe men who use beauty products are not as masculine as those who don’t,” said the researchers.

“This sentiment is higher amongst South African males than it is amongst females.
However, a substantial 33% of women also believe this.”

The top three most-used products by all men were deodorant (72%), whitening toothpaste (61%) and cologne or aftershave (58%).

Four-fifths of South African men stated that their looks were very or quite important to them.

South African women were loyal to their men. Sixty-three percent voted for their own men as the best-looking in the world—and 51% of local men agreed.

The survey also had good news for bald men who “need not worry”.

“Only one percent of respondents said that a ‘full head of hair’ is necessary for someone to be handsome.” - Sapa

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