Women and Beauty - Avon Global Women's Survey 2000
Mirror, mirror on the wall, beauty is more important after all, according to the 2000 Avon Global Women's Survey, which polled 30,000 women in 33 countries around the world in Spring of 2000. The survey revealed that 85% of respondents agree that their outer appearance is an important part of defining their character, and over half of the respondents confessed they always put a lot of effort into looking their best. Accordingly, it is no surprise that most women (82%) also agree that beauty products are a necessity, not a luxury.

The survey participants were polled about various topics relating to beauty, specifically how it relates to appearance, self-esteem and product usage. In addition the women were asked to name their "ultimate miracle product."

"While there are some regional differences in women's attitudes towards beauty and beauty products, ultimately women share an unbelievable consistency on their attitudes towards beauty and how it is incorporated into their daily lives," said Lynn Emmolo, Senior Vice President, Global Marketing, of Avon Products, Inc. "We're thrilled to see that the majority of women surveyed possess a positive attitude toward their appearance and strong self-esteem."

Levels of Self Esteem

Look good to feel good — a woman's outward appearance has a direct effect on women's self-worth. The time and effort women invest in themselves has paid off considering the globally high level of self esteem. However, confidence does vary by country and region. Women in Latin/South/Central America, Turkey Venezuela, China, and the Asia Pacific region are likely to have high self-esteem. Women in North America, Western Europe and Eastern/Central Europe have slightly lower self-esteem, with less than a third reporting high self-worth. In the UK, women tend to have lower self-esteem than their counterparts in Western Europe.

Attitudes Toward Appearance

Three-quarters of women around the world confess that great time and effort goes into looking their best. The more drastic method of keeping up appearances — plastic surgery — inspires a more varied response. Latin/South/Central American women are most likely to consider cosmetic surgery, and are predictably the least likely to agree that older women are more attractive than their younger counterparts. The majority of women in the Asia-Pacific (87%), Western Europe (72%), and Eastern/Central Europe (75%) report that they appreciate what nature gave them, and would never have cosmetic surgery.

Beauty Product Miracle Wish List

Achieving the best appearance requires the finest beauty products and women globally differ with regard to the importance of the benefits these products offer. Clear, blemish-free skin is the most desirable beauty product benefit for women in the Asia-Pacific region, Western Europe and Latin/South/Central America. The elimination of wrinkles on the face is the most desirable beauty benefit in North America. While in Eastern/Central Europe and South Africa, the elimination of cellulite on the body is the most desirable benefit.

Attitudes toward Color Cosmetics

Creatures of habit — 54% of women globally select the same shades time after time, particularly in North America where 71% of women reported they used the same color cosmetics for a long time. Nearly half the women surveyed would not leave home without applying a dash of color to their face, although 59% do not feel confident in its application and would like professional advice. North American women are most confident in their ability to apply color cosmetics, while Asian women are least confident.

Around the world, women's faces match their clothes (74%) rather than the latest color charts released by cosmetics brands each season.

Natural vs. Ideal Hair Type

Globally, most women have brown or black hair that is straight, short or medium-length with a medium level of thickness. Globally, about one-fifth of women have long hair, however, significantly more women in Latin/South/Central America have long hair. Regionally, significantly more women in Western Europe and North America would prefer to have short hair, while Eastern/Central European and Latin/South/Central American women prefer long hair. In terms of texture, women are divided as to whether they would prefer wavy or straight hair — significantly more Eastern/Central European, Western European, and North American women consider their ideal hair to be wavy. Women in the Asia-Pacific region prefer straight hair.

How Fragrance Makes A Woman Feel

The signature that lingers long after a woman leaves a room — her fragrance — is chosen for the way it makes her feel. Confidence, the ability to refresh, and femininity are the most highly valued requirements according to 26% of the women surveyed. It is no surprise that one of the items on the 'Beauty Product Miracle Wish List' was a fragrance with staying power.

Overall 32% of women valued therapeutic properties in fragrance, such as the power to inspire happiness, relaxation, and energy. Only 9% of women agreed with the concept of fragrance being chosen because it makes them feel sexier.

Beauty Fast Facts

  • I Wish I May, I Wish I Might...
    When asked to name their "ultimate beauty product", women worldwide desire a product that would provide clear skin (56%), closely followed by one that would eliminate cellulite (38%).
     
  • Toot Your Own Horn...
    A majority of all women polled (96%) consider themselves to have high self-esteem.
     
  • Give Me Food, Water, Shelter and...
    82% of all women consider beauty products to be a necessity, not a luxury.
     
  • Is There A Doctor in La Casa?
    Central American women are the most likely to consider cosmetic surgery (44%).
     
  • Seeing Is Believing...
    Most women (85%) agree that their physical appearance is an important part of defining their character.
     
  • Isn't It Ironic...
    Ideally, most women worldwide would like to have long hair (42%), yet less than a quarter of those polled (19%) actually do.
     
  • The Scent of a Woman...
    Above all else, women around the world (59%) desire a fragrance that will make them feel more confident, more refreshed and more feminine.
     
  • "Does This Match?"
    Globally, a majority of women (74%) typically select the shades of their color cosmetics to match their attire.

Attitudes Towards Appearance

  • The vast majority of women (85%) around the world agree that how you look is an important part of defining who you are, particularly in Eastern/Central Europe, South Africa, Latin/South/Central America and North America.
     
  • Therefore, it is not surprising that most women (82%) also agree that beauty products are a necessity, not a luxury.
     
  • Interestingly, seven-out-of-ten women are satisfied with the way they look.
    • Regionally, Eastern/Central European women are the most satisfied with the way they look with only 14% indicating they are never satisfied with the way they look.
    • Conversely, South African women are the least satisfied with the way they look.
  • Globally, three-quarters of women agree with each of the remaining appearance attributes: I appreciate what nature gave me and would not have plastic surgery; I put a lot of effort into looking my best; and I believe that older women can be more attractive than younger women.
     
  • However, regionally women's appearance attitudes differ somewhat.
    • The strongest opposition to cosmetic surgery is among Asian women where only 13% say they would consider undergoing such a procedure, while women in Latin/South/Central America are the most likely to consider plastic surgery.
    • In Eastern/Central Europe, fewer than half of women (47%) feel they put a lot of effort into trying to look their best.
    • Not surprisingly, women in Latin/South/Central America are the least likely to agree that older women are more attractive than younger women.

Level of Self-Esteem
While women feel the support of their husbands or partners is critical, they also consider themselves to have better than average self-esteem. Therefore, it appears that they are not simply seeking "approval" from their male partner, but a shared sense of vision and partnership. The survey revealed that nearly all of women worldwide consider themselves to have "medium" or "high" self-esteem, with only 4% reporting that they have low self-esteem. Notably, at 7%, North American and Western European women each have a much higher incidence of "low" self-esteem; while the 7% total is still small, it is significantly higher than the rest of the world.

"While there are some regional differences in women's attitudes towards beauty and beauty products, ultimately women share an unbelievable consistency on their attitudes towards beauty and how it is incorporated into their daily lives," said Lynn Emmolo, Senior Vice President, Global Marketing, of Avon Products, Inc. "We're thrilled to see that the majority of women surveyed possess a positive attitude toward their appearance and strong self-esteem."

  • Globally, most women consider themselves to have medium (53%) to high (43%) self-esteem, while very few women consider themselves to have low self-esteem (4%).
    • In fact, women in Latin/South/Central America and the Asia-Pacific region are significantly more likely to have high self-esteem.
    • While women in Western Europe and Eastern/Central Europe, and North America tend to have slightly lower self-esteem.
       
  • Other notable country differences include:
    • In the UK, women tend to have lower self-esteem than their counterparts in their region.
  • Whereas in Turkey, Venezuela, and China, women are significantly more likely to have high self-esteem.

Attitudes Towards Color Cosmetics
The survey revealed that 85% of respondents agree that their outer appearance is an important part of defining their character, and over half of the respondents confessed they always put a lot of effort into looking their best. Accordingly, it is no surprise that most women (82%) also agree that beauty products are a necessity, not a luxury.

  • When selecting color cosmetic shades, women around the world tend to be more influenced by the clothes they wear than by the latest shades or trends in color cosmetics.
     
  • Globally, the majority of women (74%) agree that they typically select the shades of their color cosmetics to match their outfits, particularly in Asia and Eastern/Central Europe.
    • Only a quarter of women globally are influenced by the latest shades of color cosmetics; however, regionally women in North America and Latin/South/Central American tend to be more influenced by them than their counterparts in other regions.
    • In general, many women (59%) say they do not feel skilled at applying color cosmetics and would like professional advice.
    • Significantly more Asian women (76%) consider themselves to be unskilled at applying color cosmetics and would like professional advice.
    • On the other hand, North American women are the most confident about their ability to apply color cosmetics.
  • Overall, women are fairly evenly split on the remaining attributes: 54% use the same shades of color cosmetics for a long time; 54% agree that the shade is more important than the brand; and 49% would not go out of the house without putting on some color cosmetics.
    • A significantly higher proportion of women in Western Europe, North America, and South Africa tend to use the same shades for a long period of time.
    • Women in Eastern/Central Europe and South Africa are significantly more likely to say they would not leave the house without putting on color cosmetics.

How Would You Most Like A Fragrance to Make You Feel?

  • Women around the world most desire a fragrance that will make them feel more confident, more refreshed, and more feminine.
     
  • Globally, few women are interested in a fragrance that would make them feel sexier or more energetic.
     
  • Notable regional and country differences with regard to the way women would most like a fragrance to make them feel are outlined below.
     
  • Women in 4 out of 6 regions (Asia-Pacific, Western Europe, Eastern/Central Europe, and North America) most desire a fragrance that would make them feel more confident.
    • A fragrance that would make one feel more refreshed is the second most desired fragrance characteristic overall and the most desired feeling in 4 countries (Canada, Croatia, the Philippines, and Taiwan).
    • While a fragrance that would make one feel more feminine is the third most desired fragrance feeling overall, it is the #1 feeling selected in South Africa and Latin/South/Central America.

Natural vs. Ideal Hair Type

  • Globally, most women have brown or black hair that is straight, short or medium in length with a medium level of thickness.
    • Black and brown hair are predominately the most common hair colors around the world followed by blonde hair which is significantly more common in Western Europe, Eastern/Central Europe, South Africa, and North America. Grey and red hair, on the other hand, are much less common.
    • Globally, about one-fifth of women have long hair, however, significantly more women in Latin/South/Central America have long hair.
    • Approximately half of the women surveyed have straight hair, slightly more than a one-third have wavy hair, and only one-out-of-ten have very curly hair. Regionally, more women in Asia-Pacific and Eastern/Central Europe have straight hair, while very curly hair is more prevalent in Latin/South/Central America.
    • In terms of thickness, more than half of the women would consider their hair to be medium in thickness, while a quarter have thick hair and a quarter have thin hair. Significantly more women in Latin/South/Central America have thin hair.
       
  • Ideally, women would like to have longer hair; however, for the most part they appear satisfied with the color, texture and thickness of their current hair type.
     
  • Regionally, significantly more women in Western Europe and North America would prefer to have short hair, while Eastern/Central European and Latin/South/Central American women prefer long hair.
    • Women are divided as to whether they would prefer wavy or straight hair — significantly more Eastern/Central European, Western European, and North American women consider their ideal hair to be wavy.
    • Not surprisingly, women in the Asia-Pacific region prefer straight hair.

Beauty Product Miracle Benefit Wish List

  • Overall, women globally agree that the ideal beauty product would provide clear, blemish-free skin, eliminate wrinkles on the face, and eliminate cellulite on the body. They have the least amount of interest in a beauty product that would give them fuller lips.
     
  • Across regions, however, women differ with regard to the importance of these benefits.
    • Clear, blemish-free skin is the most desirable beauty product benefit for women in the Asia-Pacific region, Western Europe, and Latin/South/Central America.
    • The elimination of wrinkles on the face is the most desirable beauty benefit in North America;
    • While in Eastern/Central Europe and South Africa, the elimination of cellulite on the body is the most desirable benefit.
       
  • Other notable regional and country differences include:
    • Significantly more women in Eastern/Central Europe, particularly in Russia and Ukraine, want a product that will improve the appearance of their teeth.
    • In Japan (83%) are significantly more likely to desire a beauty product that would provide clear, blemish-free skin, while women in Thailand want a product that will eliminate wrinkles on their face.

Life Challenges — Three Topics That You Would Go To Your Best Friends For Advice

  • Globally, the top three topics that women are most likely to go to their best friends for advice about are: health issues, work issues, and places to shop. They are least likely to consult their friends about fragrances, sex, and household chores.
    • Health issues are one of the top three topics selected by women in every region except in North America and South Africa.
    • Work issues are cited by women in all regions except in Asia and Western Europe.
       
  • However, on a regional basis women differ with regard to the top three topics they would ask their friends for advice about:
    • Asia-Pacific: health, clothing, color cosmetics/gift ideas
    • Western Europe: gift ideas, places to shop, health
    • Eastern/Central Europe: food recipes, gift ideas, health, work issues
    • South Africa: places to shop, work issues, husband or boyfriend
    • Latin/South/Central America: health, work issues, money
    • North America: places to shop, work issues, food recipes

 

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