We humans are so diverse in race color and creed, it begs the question; what makes a man attractive? And if beauty is in the eye of the beholder, are some beauty standards only relevant within specific cultures? Let’s take a look around the world to find out.
There seem to be two contradictory standards for men in Mexico. One is to be a rugged “macho” man and the other is to be a considerate gentleman. Either way, a study of the most vain men in the world, put Mexico in second place.
In Brazil, there is still a huge class difference between the rich and the poor, where Germanic-looking, Caucasian men with straight, fair hair form their ideal of beauty. Even cosmetic surgery for men to achieve this look is becoming normalized.
8. South Africa
Surprisingly, according to most surveys, in a country where 80% of the population is black, the ideal role-models for beauty in men are white. Maybe this is because what people see in the media is directly related to who holds the power. And whilst caucasian South Africans are a minority, they typically earn 6 times more than the average black South African.
We’ve all heard of India’s movie industry; Bollywood, well here’s its Nigerian cousin; Nollywood! A hugely influential part of which actors and models get put in front of the West African population. Nigerian culture favors a lack of emotion, sturdiness and strength as the male body ideal.
The University of San Francisco stated in a recent study, that where women struggle with media pressure to be thin, men face media pressure to be muscular. This, mixed with a bearded hipster style has created the new American Role-model of “Lumbersexual”.
Not surprising that Italy is so high on the list as it’s often considered the pinnacle of men’s fashion. The idealistic role for an Italian male is well-dressed, loafers with no socks and a general sense of studied nonchalance or “Sprezzatura”.
Okay, British men are often ribbed for having bad teeth and antler-like eyebrows, but it has also produced many role-models who have been propelled into international stardom by Hollywood, and have now set the standard as British icons.
3. South Korea
K-pop or South Korean pop culture, completely dominates the screens in Korea and has spread through most of the world. These stars wear highly stylized trend-setting clothes and mix honed muscles, with soft make-up. Plastic surgery to heighten the nasal bridge and create double eyelids is ever more accepted in men.
Traditionally, Filipino masculinity was portrayed by a virile, family man who could take care of business. However recently this has given way to a more image conscious society where Filipino men are encouraged to embrace “metrosexuality.”
Bollywood is the largest film industry in the world so it’s no surprise that it propagates the ideals of beauty throughout the Indian subcontinent. However it does respect and stay true to the traditional Hindu masculinity, were men should be confident in themselves and be assertive with their power over others, especially women.
Did your country make the list?