One of the first things you notice when you come to Japan is how great everybody looks. The guys all know how to wear a suit, and the ladies dress conservatively and stylishly. In fact, it’s a well-known phenomenon that many foreigners who arrive in Japan for a prolonged stay will, within a few weeks, start smartening themselves up as a direct result of the example set by fashion and beauty-conscious Japanese.
But a shocking and kind of sad survey has revealed that in terms of being happy with their looks, the people of Japan are actually ranked bottom in the world…
The survey, conducted by German market research company GfK and which asked a total of 270,000 people aged 15 and older to rate their own looks, revealed that of the 22 countries surveyed, Japan ranked lowest in terms of overall satisfaction with one’s own physical appearance.
Mexico ranked number one for self-confidence, and China was somewhere in the middle. Turkey, Brazil, and Ukraine also ranked highly.
Interestingly, 55 percent of all polled participants answered that they were “quite satisfied” with their looks, and only 3 percent answered that they were “not at all satisfied.”
Sadly, 38 percent of Japan’s participants reported being “not at all satisfied” or “not very satisfied” with their appearance. This seems strange in a country where people often put a great deal of time and money into grooming themselves, but perhaps the bar is simply set higher here, with such a premium being placed on personal attractiveness.
▼ Why are Japanese people so hard on their looks?
For a little extra context, Britain also ranked low in terms of self-confidence with 20 percent of those surveyed rating themselves as “not at all satisfied” or “not very satisfied” with their own appearance. Russia, South Korea, Sweden and Australia also ranked low with 19 percent. Brits may be self-deprecating by nature, and with its reliance on cosmetic enhancements South Korea is an unsurprising addition to the list, but we’re still a little surprised by some of these figures.
You can see an easy-to-understand infographic with all of this data on the GfK website here. Where does your country rank?