lifestyle

Japanese people aren’t happy with their looks: survey

100 Comments
By Evie Lund, RocketNews24

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% of all polled participants answered that they were “quite satisfied” with their looks, and only 3% answered that they were “not at all satisfied.”

Sadly, 38% 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.

For a little extra context, Britain also ranked low in terms of self-confidence with 20% 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%. 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?

Source: Livedoor News

Read more stories from RocketNews24. -- Japan second worst in G8 for employee satisfaction -- Experiment hints that humans aren’t necessarily evil after all -- “But we’re speaking Japanese!”: Humorous video confronts lingering stereotypes in Japan

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100 Comments
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lotta mirrors break in Mexico?

-8 ( +4 / -12 )

Just look at that hair and it explains a lot.

16 ( +21 / -5 )

This kind of sentiment has always surprised me since, although there are very few stunning looking people in Japan, I find the Japanese, on the whole, quite a good looking Asian race.

They have nice skin, when they resist the temptation to dye it, nice hair and they stay in shape for a lot longer than Caucasians.

Britain also ranked low in terms of self-confidence.

Now this I can well believe and find it true. I never see the attraction of the Brits and as marriage partners other nationalities in the world seem to marry them quite easily.

-12 ( +8 / -21 )

Very surprised.... even with Britain... lol.... wonder why...XD

0 ( +2 / -2 )

perhaps the bar is simply set higher here, with such a premium being placed on personal attractiveness.

This high-maintenance mentality seems to be another added stress to japanese in their daily lives. I think japanese, overall, present themselves well. Why the low self-esteem?

11 ( +14 / -3 )

I am not surprised at this outcome, even though Japan has some of the most outwardly attractive people in the world (in my opinion). I never venture out of the house without seeing countless very good-looking people.

I think if you did a market survey in Japan on "are you happy with {paste practically anything here}" in Japan, the results would be the pretty much identical with the nation "ranking bottom in the world." It's just a reflection of the massive level of unhappiness and dissatisfaction in this country overall, among a population who is almost never pleased with anything.

As an aside, it is ironic that the photo accompanying this article would be of these young men who most likely work at a host club bilking middle-aged women out of loads of their husband's hard-earned cash, or at least don the host club appearance. In my opinion, this sleazy male look is among the least attractive, and creepy, in Japan.

15 ( +17 / -2 )

every human being is a beautiful creation in its own way, but the media/the so called commercial fashion makes this rather ugly.

16 ( +16 / -0 )

I'm not surprised at all! It is a byproduct of globalization. When you constantly see one kind of person who don't look like you in the global media being promoted as the beautiful then you get people with low self confidence. We saw these confidence issues surface recently with the newly crowned Miss Japan. The first issue in the eyes of some Japanese is that she didn't look "Japanese" enough which plays into the lack of confidence issue. (Common Japanese features can't win pageants?). The second issue was that she wasn't the "right kind" of haafu. She wasn't Caucasian but African-American Japanese which means she is not beautiful because this isn't the view Japanese people get from the global media about beauty. There is still a lot of ignorance here. I still meet Japanese women studying English who simply want to marry a British man because they think their life will be exactly the movies! :(

Despite the obvious benefits of globalization, it is also spreads lots of low esteem, racism, and discrimination.

People need to realize that the being "beautiful" doesn't mean being perfect, it means being the best "you" that you can possibly be. I forget that too, sometimes.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

My friend and I tonight were talking about getting a one way ticket to Japan because the women of Japan are so beautiful.

-13 ( +9 / -23 )

As an aside, it is ironic that the photo accompanying this article would be of these young men who most likely work at a host club bilking middle-aged women out of loads of their husband's hard-earned cash

The majority of customers at hostess clubs are hostesses - spending the money that they've gotten from the husbands themselves.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

The majority of customers at hostess clubs are hostesses

@Strangerland

I think you meant to say, "the majority of customers at host clubs are hostesses."

It depends on the host club. Many cater mainly to hostesses, but many others cater mainly to the well-heeled middle-aged housewife crowd.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

I think you meant to say, "the majority of customers at host clubs are hostesses."

Yeah, I did.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Japanese people aren’t happy with their looks: survey

When have they ever been?

3 ( +6 / -3 )

Graeme Young

My friend and I tonight were talking about getting a one way ticket to Japan because the women of Japan are so beautiful.

Good luck with that.

You need to show a return ticket to immigration to get into Japan

7 ( +9 / -2 )

although there are very few stunning looking people in Japan

People find the stunningly beauty in their own people. For the western men, the western women are the most sexy, and for the Japanese men, the Japanese women in Kimono are the most sexy.

-29 ( +4 / -33 )

Japan ranked lowest in terms of overall satisfaction with one’s own physical appearance.

No surprise, that. Japan's is a shame culture where the highest standards of perfection aren't ever good enough--you have to have kaizen (constant improvement) on top of a the obsessive tendencies that almost anywhere else would qualify as a 'disorder'. Japanese people also must downplay their own abilities and gifts at all times: jozu ni .... None of that nurtures healthy self regard of any kind.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Caught between two worlds, the desire for traditional Japanese vs. idealized Western appearance.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

I think you have to take this kind of poll with a large pinch of salt and a dose of scepticism. I'm perfectly happy with the way I look, but if some pollster with a clipboard came up to me in the street and asked if I was 'satisfied with my appearance' I'm not sure if I'd mumble an embarrassed and self-deprecating British 'No, not really' or ask, 'Why, what's wrong with my appearance?'

I imagine a goodly number of the Japanese answers were of the self-deprecating type: folk are not going to boast to a complete stranger that they think they look great.

tina - not always.

7 ( +10 / -3 )

All birds look good. There's nothing wrong with the cockatoo on the left of this photo.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

The fact that Japanese spend so much time on fashion and make up is probably indicative of the lack of confidence displayed in the poll. Trying to live up to some higher, unreachable standards set by media and advertising.

Women especially have a complex when compared to western women. I've seen all sorts of body proportion studies etc. that try to explain the reason western women are sexier. Frankly - Japanese have their own very beautiful qualities.

Men as well -- I watched one dude looking at himself in the subway car window, pick and pull at his hair for about 20 minutes trying to get just the right amount of chaos into his look. I wanted to slap him but -- hey, live and let live.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

Tina. I am always surprised with your view of the world. I think it is quite common, actually, for people to be excited by the exotic, rather than the familiar, too. Somewhere between the two might be optimal.

7 ( +9 / -2 )

tina - not always.

Almost always. In the Japanese porn, always the Japanese girls appear, in western porn, the western girls appear, isn't it?

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

I'm surprised that people think this is so surprising. Maybe we're getting comments from people who exoticize Japanese people from afar without actually living here?

Any culture that puts such a huge emphasis on buying cosmetics and fashion to correct one's flaws should be expected to report low levels of satisfaction with their appearance, because anyone who is truly satisfied with their appearance would rather spend that time and money on things they enjoy. But if you're surrounded by people who are insecure about their (usually self-perceived) flaws and who go to great lengths to conceal them through fashion and cosmetics, even if you are satisfied with your appearance, when you compare yourself to the people around you who are "put together" well, you're going to start finding your confidence undermined. It's a vicious cycle, and fashion and cosmetic industries feed on it.

11 ( +11 / -0 )

Katsu

You said it better than I

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Sasakikojiro2, If you just walk 42nd street in NYC and see the pictures outside the porn shops, you can see what women Americans find sexy.

-18 ( +5 / -23 )

If you just walk 42nd street in NYC and see the pictures outside the porn shops, you can see what women Americans find sexy.

tinawatanabe - so you're making a broad judgment about all western men based on a porn shop on 42nd street, NY. I don't think that would quite hold up to peer review in a sociology journal.

7 ( +10 / -3 )

I think what they need is more expression of love and affection of one another in their everyday lives.

14 ( +14 / -0 )

'People find the stunningly beauty in their own people. For the western men, the western women are the most sexy, and for the Japanese men, the Japanese women in Kimono are the most sexy.'

Tina, your ability to speak on behalf of Japanese people in terms of their political ideas and now Japanese men's taste in women is truly amazing. After reading your mails, I can only conclude you regard Japanese people as extremely monolithic and lacking in individual thought and taste - something the 'Japan-bashers' you love to rail against come out with. I just wish Japanese men on the train would read comics or magazines with women in kimono on the cover rather than creepy images of young women with child-like faces in skimpy bikinis.

7 ( +10 / -3 )

In a way, this isn't surprising to me. Compared to people from my home country, Japanese women are much more insistent about using a large amount of makeup and spending a lot of time and money on hair and clothes, and many of my female Japanese friends will refuse to leave their houses even to go to the convenience store without being made up properly. While that does create a nice image, I can't help but wonder if that affects their overall self-confidence, as this survey mentions. If you think it's inappropriate to walk out of the house looking like your own, natural self, then it makes sense that they wouldn't think themselves to be beautiful. That's just a speculation....a pity if it's true.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Yeah this is hardly surprising, I find most Japanese are basically at best unsatisfied with most of what happens in their lives. And most Japanese are happy when the people around them are sufficiently miserable, ie their in the same boat.

While Japanese dress well & wear too much makeup, it all ends up being a MASK for what's inside. Sadly I have mentioned many times is that the great thing about being Gaijin in Japan is I DONT have to & I absolutely DONT play this game, wastes too much time, $$$ & the end result is there for all to see & the results of the survey clearly bear this out.

And the way salarymen & OL's HAVE to dress is pretty narrow, its all becomes somewhat bland when you see the masses mingle to/from & while at work

That said most of this is simply the result of J-culture & the WAY Japanese are taught to go about things in their lives, very few break out of this & prosper

But as a Gaijin thankfully I don't have to play this game!

1 ( +6 / -5 )

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and those with a huge fat wallet stuffed with cash.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

if you are ugly, you have no choice but to think you look good, otherwise you get too low and depressed.

if you are extremely beautiful, then it's no big deal to say "i don't like my looks".

BTW, japanese woman is the most beautiful in the world.

-4 ( +4 / -8 )

Both the Japanese and British have a culture of not boasting by playing down their attributes. Some other cultures could do with learning such behaviour. Egoists are deluded bores.

7 ( +11 / -4 )

Simple is best: out of shower, dry hair, done. You look nice.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Both the Japanese and British have a culture of not boasting...

@Elizabeth

Good laugh on that one. That's the most humorous unintentionally ironic statement I've heard all week (unless, that is, you are neither Japanese nor British).

0 ( +6 / -6 )

The article doesn't go into detail at all about what Japanese don't like about their looks. If the answer is: "I look too asian and not western enough" then I'm sorry for you because you don't realize that it has nothing to do with ethnicity.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

I love my Asian blood and enjoy having people drool. Nothing wrong with liking or loving yourself. Quite often, you might be the only one that does.

9 ( +10 / -1 )

Self perception, according to one comedian:

Skinny girls think they're chubby, chubby girls think they're fat, fat girls think they're obese, and obese girls think they're supermodels.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Japan ranked lowest in terms of overall satisfaction with one’s own physical appearance.

Dressing well and wearing make up won't change things like small eyes, short height, short thick bow legs, bad teeth, bad skin, lack of muscles/masculinity, weak bone structure, etc. Traits that are more common in Japan than other countries yet praised in things like anime and dramas.

Surprised with Sweden ranking low on satisfaction. The Swedes I know routinely brag about their country being beautiful and home to blonde hair blue eyed vikings.

-17 ( +3 / -20 )

Jimizo

Tina, your ability to speak on behalf of Japanese people in terms of their political ideas and now Japanese men's taste in women is truly amazing

I was only referring to Gary Raynor's comment: "there are very few stunning looking people in Japan". My point is those not stunning looking in Japan to Gary Raynor might be stunning looking to the Japanese men. You don't like me defending the Japanese girls?

As Yelnats said "Beauty is in the eye of the beholder"

-4 ( +5 / -9 )

Looking at the picture I am reminded of the phrase someone on the old JT Forum coined a few years ago; metrosexual pussies.

2 ( +8 / -6 )

Looking at the picture I am reminded of the phrase someone on the old JT Forum coined a few years ago; metrosexual pussies.

That hairstyle is only popular in Japan.

Elsewhere in the world, its called "wearing a mop".

1 ( +6 / -5 )

On balance the Japanese are not a handsome race, with exceptions of course. For example average Thai women compared to average Japanese women, no contest. Again, there are always exceptions. In Asia, perhaps the Korean people are most handsome, certainly Japanese women agree with that, but some say northern Indian. And of course Eurasians are the most handsome of all people.

-10 ( +4 / -14 )

All in the eye of the beholder.

My home country hardly wins beauty contests but many good looking ladies there. Too many are chasing unobtainable stereotypes.

Problem is that many Japanese want to be someone other themselves, meet a Japanese that is comfortable with her/his body and they look good.

Be who your are and confident and your beauty will be there, beauty is more than body type, looks, etc.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

@Zurcronium I wouldn't go along with that. Maybe for the men it's more the look. My partner thinks the look and particularly the hairstyles of the likes of SMAP and Arashi makes these good looking men look like refugees from Duran Duran or Paul Calf. The lad in the left of the picture looks like he wants to be a bird of paradise.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Not the best pic using a celebrity known for being eccentric.

Living close to 2(3) universities I can say the students wear discreet clothing and hairstyles. Like I said the real scorers rely on personality and not looks.

Of course having manners and treating everyone well goes a long way towards being attractive and possibly scoring.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

For example average Thai women compared to average Japanese women, no contest.

From the context of your post, I think you are saying that Thai women win hands down, but I personally would say the exact reverse. I find the average Japanese woman better looking than the average Thai woman, by a long shot.

I think that Japan has a better average than my home country. More stunners as well. But my opinion is that China has more stunners than Japan, by a long shot, though the average Chinese girl is not as good looking as the average Japanese girl.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

But my opinion is that China has more stunners than Japan, by a long shot

And given China's dire gender imbalance, they invariably rise to supercilious prominence.

If you just walk 42nd street in NYC and see the pictures outside the porn shops, you can see what women Americans find sexy.

Thanks for bringing the conversation down to the gutter.

Egoists are deluded bores.

Just my cup of tea, Elizabeth!

Japanese people aren’t happy with their looks: survey

The economy would crash to a grinding halt if they were... followed by a sharp recovery and a real Cool Japan.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

To me, it is no surprise at all that a people which spend a lot of time grooming themselves have lower self-esteem. I mean, if they loved how they looked, why would they take so much time "changing" their natural selves?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Seriously? Everyone here always look at their best. When I first came here, I wasn't caring much about how I was looking because in Canada you look messy most of the time because most of the time we have a lot of winter's clothes. Now, I still feel like I'm not as much at my best as the people here, but I improved I think.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Quickly looking at travel websites where best looking people by country are rated, as I mentioned Korea and India from Asia make the top ten. No Japan and no China. For those interested in number one, its Sweden.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

"One of the first things you notice when you come to Japan is how great everybody looks"

Har!

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Japanese females in particular,harbor a desire to be as pale skinned/white as possible,hence them walking with their umbrellas on a sunny day to block the sun.Sad to think that way,but that's their insecurities in effect.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Japanese females in particular,harbor a desire to be as pale skinned/white as possible

That's pretty much true of all non-white races everywhere.

hence them walking with their umbrellas on a sunny day to block the sun.Sad to think that way,but that's their insecurities in effect.

Insecurities or not, that's the safe way to do it.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Right cracaphat. I hate when gals walk w umbrellas on a sunny day. There are nice dark/tanned gals all over Asia. Just too bad the pale skinned/white as possible cliche brainwashes far-east beauty.

0 ( +7 / -7 )

Dark skin is the best. In Italy if you are pale you are considered ill. Anyway, I believe tons of these Japanese people are only too humble to admit they like themselves.

1 ( +6 / -5 )

Safe way to do it?

When you gotta go,you gotta go and in Japan it's from cancer but not skin cancer.The sun in Oz is 8 x stronger than here.The issue isn't so much about being safe,but about being pale as can be.Only the oldies who want to live forever care about being "safe."

2 ( +2 / -0 )

@cracaphat. People use parasols as they don't want to damage their skin and get skin cancer. I cover up, use sun block and a parasol for exactly that reason. If you find sun damage attractive I suggest you go to the Med in the summer and catch all those pale Northern Europeans who haven't got the message about cancer displaying lobster red and peeling skin. Gorgeous.

-1 ( +5 / -5 )

When people realize the beauty of their natural self they certainly won't be dissatisfied ,especially women.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I was a model in my teens and twenties. I worked with a lot of very beautiful people. They were the most insecure bunch you`ve ever met. It seems to me the higher the imaginary bar is set, the more unhappy people get striving to attain it.

oh - and Elizabeths comment is funny and ironic? I dont get it. British and Japanese ARE some of the most self deprecating in the world.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

@cracaphat and @Wc626

I carry a UV protected parasol to keep me in the shade and cooler. It is preferable to wearing a hat on hot days and in the summer in Japan I couldn't walk far without it, it's just too hot.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

As a Brit, I found the survey perplexing. I consider myself a fabulous specimen of manhood. Svelte, handsome and a dab hand with the ladeez. Cheers.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

South Korea may be more famous (or infamous) for plastic surgery'd people, but what people often ignore is that Japan is also home to a large number of plastic beauties, and that in fact the 'cosmetic enhancement' fever is something the Koreans caught from Japan, whose surgeons pioneered many of the techniques in the first place. And there are numerous examples that show that before surgical techniques enabled the Japanese to physically alter their appearance, they were 'enhancing' their photographs, often quite radically.

As for how the Japanese wish they looked in a perfect world, you need look no further than the typical manga or anime. If those characters didn't have Japanese names, you would never know they were supposed to represent the natives of Japan.

-4 ( +4 / -8 )

cracaphat: Japanese females in particular,harbor a desire to be as pale skinned/white as possible

Strangerland: That's pretty much true of all non-white races everywhere.

The old ideal was pale skin, to show you could stay indoors all day while the slaves and tenant farmers did the outside work. Or to match the status of the colonists, with their gingham and shiny toys.

The new ideal is dark skin, to show you can leisure at beaches, resorts, parks, etc., rather than being forced to stay sealed inside at your desk job.

An exception is the ladies with their full-frontal sun masks trying to avoid having wrinkles when they get older.

shopping.google "tanning lotion" first hit: European Gold Dark Star Select, 60X Indoor Tanning Lotion, 8.5 fl oz.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

One of the first things you notice when you come to Japan is how great everybody looks.

LOL. Pure comedy.

-3 ( +4 / -7 )

Spending a lot of time and money for clothes, cosmetics and so on because he/she is not satisfied with their looks. This totally makes sense to me.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I carry a UV protected parasol to keep me in the shade and cooler. It is preferable to wearing a hat on hot days and in the summer in Japan I couldn't walk far without it, it's just too hot.

Kittychosen - If you're a girl, no problem. If you are a guy, ohhhhhh my.....

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Warm hearted people making up for good looking once so what we expect in Japan is not same what we expect in Mexico or Brazil for example...

1 ( +1 / -0 )

People who are really happy with their looks will not wear extreme clothes. Extreme clothes are a compensation for a need to look attractive. Women in Japan make a strong effort and most of the time look good. Men on the other hand typically have no idea. Almost all suit wearing men never clean their shoes, wear one suit constantly, carry women's bags, and more recently adjust their trousers so they 2 inches too short. The men who do try to take care of their appearance think that means directly copying women and look totally feminine.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

People who are really happy with their looks will not wear extreme clothes.

Why not?

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I cover up, use sun block and a parasol for exactly that reason.

Which you wouldn't do if you were back in England tho.

0 ( +2 / -1 )

Not at all amusing here.

People in my host country, Japan, has a need to "appeal" to others in order to stand out of the crowd and "compare" themselves much too much with others for everything from status to their fingernails and even their diet. For many, health is synonymous with "looks. In many situations the "appearance" of health and so called "beauty" is compared with "wealth" and "happiness".

Blessed with nature that has beauty and abundance as well as variety, one thinks that he/she too must be "considered" "nice", "pretty", "elegant", "beautiful", etc. to be "acceptable" to nature, society and the world. To make matters worse, the entire social media as well as the social morale is based upon some idealistically created high standards to which one must strive.

He/she must be "acceptable" and "conforming" in appearance, behavior, etc. with any difference or deviation or oddity is a "sad" situation and is "shunned", because that indicates "low" and "undesirable" social standing that must be "avoided" at all costs, even to a point of in some cases using acts of deception or even the extreme, suicide. The Japanese people think and try much too hard comparing their "external" selves with others, without looking at all the beauty and the "good" they may have inside.

However, Japanese people has one major character that sets them healthier and beautiful over many others with physically balanced and appealing features which we may call beauty. That is the "cleanliness" which starts from the Shinto shrines and the Buddhist traditions. And, I am sure everyone knows of many other... beautiful things which ... is/are appreciated.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

I am astonished by this. I think Japanese people here are uniformly underdressed for everything. Even at a wedding I went to, I was the smartest, most well-dressed person there. As Paul says above, the ridiculous baggy, shapeless layering of Japanese women's clothes, in insipid, washed out colours, would make them look homeless anywhere else in the world.

Japanese people's skin is pretty awful too, and of course the teeth, thanks to a reluctance to eat copious fresh fruit and vegetables, and an aversion to dairy. High prices of these foodstuffs, and a commitment to brushing off all their enamel five minutes after finishing eating (a practice that would never be endorsed anywhere else) won't encourage a better diet any time soon.

-8 ( +2 / -10 )

I can't get when some East Asians making fun of other East Asians for their looks when they share the same basic traits...and I can see this happening many times.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

This probably comes down to 2 reasons. As others have mentioned, Japanese tend to be modest and self deprecating. How many times have I heard people say ''oh my English is so bad, I could never have a meaningful conversation with foreigners using English'', when in fact they speak the language fairly fluently. Lack of self confidence, maybe even self esteem? Of course people are going to feel inadequate and lacking in this country. The other reason is because people in Japan tend to compare, or should I say contrast, themselves with the ''other'' ie. foreigners, or more specifically caucasians. Things that Japanese women tend to think would include, I'm not tall enough, my nose is flat, my eyes, boobs are too small, no curves, etc. To be fair, this may be true in most Asian countries and not just in Japan. Asian men fare no better. A typical joke in Japan is that Japanese males cannot attract western women because they are viewed as somehow inferior?! Most gaijin are automatically perceived as kakoii,even if they look like Osama Bin Laden. Looking at the list, I'm not surprised that Mexico, Argentina and Spain rank highly in terms of self confidence. Latin culture being far more passionate and brazen, exuding that '' I don't care what others think of me because it's my life'' attitude.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Many subjective factors so its like arguing over the better colour blue vs orange. I have an Oz mate who loves asian chicks. He had a blue eyed stunning blonde model at his feet yet he ignored her for a, let's just say a not very attractive asian bird. BTW its interesting to get the same comment by many Japanese, "gaijin have a preference for our ugly woman"...

1 ( +2 / -1 )

I have an Oz mate who loves asian chicks. He had a blue eyed stunning blonde model at his feet yet he ignored her for a, let's just say a not very attractive asian bird.

As beauty is subjective, I'd bet he'd say that he was ignoring a plain looking blonde for a hot Asian 'bird'.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

BTW its interesting to get the same comment by many Japanese, "gaijin have a preference for our ugly woman"...

Maybe it's because they are too shy to talk to gaijin or what they want isn't serious. I prefer a normal woman who's not chasing $$$ over a chix just interested in what I have in my wallet.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I have to laugh at some of the comments here actually ridiculing Japanese for bothering to dress up before going out in public. Its one of their finest traits.

North Americans, on the other hand, are a horrific hoard of people cramming themselves into leggings, football jerseys, sweatpants and pyjamas (Yes, pyjamas) and see no shame in it.

And ill bet those pontificating about the supposed "insecurities" of getting dressed up are adorned with the usual attention-seeking white-trash tattoos which are de rigueur for the tactless.

3 ( +8 / -5 )

And ill bet those pontificating about the supposed "insecurities" of getting dressed up are adorned with the usual attention-seeking white-trash tattoos which are de rigueur for the tactless.

I'm one of the tattooed, and I love the fact that the Japanese dress up (for I do too), and don't think it has anything to do with insecurity.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Whoa- whats wrong with football jerseys or athletic attire? Especially on a Sunday going to your local sports bar to wet your whistle and watch a ball game?

There are times to dress up and there are times to wear whatever you want. A wise man understands which is called for.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

The other side of the coin: This is one of the reasons to go to great measures dress well, and/or emulate; the lack of self acceptance of one's own beauty. It is one of the beautiful races in Asia

0 ( +1 / -1 )

It's a question of how much advertising runs your life. Not so much probably equals higher self satisfaction

2 ( +2 / -0 )

For the western men, the western women are the most sexy, and for the Japanese men, the Japanese women in Kimono are the most sexy.

Not true, and it's funny that a Jerson creates their own stereotype of their own people. BTW I know plenty of JAPANESE guys that don't like kimonos compared to western dress on Japanese females. I've been told Japanese women to them, that Japanese women look sexier in western dress than kimonos because the kimono looks so damn heavy and restricting.

BTW (No2) I am a western guy and I find Japanese women to be more sexy than western, for a number of different reasons but then that is MY opinion and it ain't right to stereotype anyone wannabe.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I think most of westerners think korean an chinese people do look more natural and more attractice than japanese.

Make up is good when it gives you a better look and it is natural. Japanese use make up that give you an artificial look. My point of view is that it is sooo weird.

-3 ( +5 / -8 )

@cracaphat. I cover up in London too. The rate of skin cancers is rising in the UK. Contrary to ignorant stereotypes, it isn't rainy and foggy in London. Summer is sunny and hot.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Read Suzuki's "Japan Unmasked" for an assessment of the Japanese people as being ugly. As I remember reading the book in 1973, one sentence goes "With the possible exception of the Hottentots, there is no more ugly people on the face of the earth than the Japanese." Suzuki was fired from his post with the Japanese state department as a result of writing the book.

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

The first thing I noticed when I came to japan was how smart people were dressed even in the hottest weather. Men in nice suits with polished shoes, pretty ties and perfect haircuts at every corner. Women with those beautiful masses of long black hair and their pale faces - dressed in perfect business attire. It was such a refreshing break from the naked calves of men wearing cargo shirts and tank tops in the offices back home. Or women in skimpy ruffled mini skirts.

Looking at most Western nations my summary would be: some stunners, some ugly ones and a whole bunch of meh. In Japan you have a whole lot of beautiful people and some ugly ones. And I'm not saying that because I'm married to an almost painfully beautiful Japanese man.

Chin up, Japanese people, you are beautiful!

0 ( +4 / -4 )

when it comes to fashion Japanese are color blind, just look at all the grey, browns, black they wear. They have this addiction to monochrome colors, next time your out just count the white, grey, black, silver Japanese cars on the street, they account for 90%. you rarely see reds blues pink yellow, unless its a european or sports car

0 ( +1 / -1 )

battambangbound: Read Suzuki's "Japan Unmasked" for an assessment of the Japanese people as being ugly. As I remember reading the book in 1973, one sentence goes "With the possible exception of the Hottentots, there is no more ugly people on the face of the earth than the Japanese." Suzuki was fired from his post with the Japanese state department as a result of writing the book.

Kawasaki can write whatever he wants, but "beauty is in the eye of the beholder".

It's like telling people what flavor of ice cream they should like. Kawasaki has his opinion, and because the world is large no doubt you could find a large number of people sharing it, but also a large number of people NOT sharing it. "High cheek bones" are often mentioned as ideal in descriptions of fashion models, for example.

(Full quote copied below, from an Amazon review of the book, book author is Ichiro Kawasaki, not "Suzuki". Amazon says 1989 for the date but that is the paperback; worldcat.org gives 1969 for the date of the 1st edition.)

http://www.amazon.com/Japan-Unmasked-Ichiro-Kawasaki/dp/0804813833

Japan Unmasked, by Ichiro Kawasaki ... (Amazon review) A most notable quote about the Japanese, by a Japanese: "Of all the races of the world, the Japanese are perhaps physically the least attractive, with the exception of Pygmies and Hottentots. Members of the so-called Mongolian race to which Japanese belong, have flat expressionless faces, high cheek bones, and oblique eyes. Their figure is also far from being shapely with a disproportionately large head, an elongated trunk, and short, often bowed legs." p26

1 ( +1 / -0 )

need more leather jehrkins with tassels. Also maybe pointer shoes for men? That should bring the confidence back. The rugged, soft swashbuckler trend is JUST about to hit. Mark my words.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I see we're at the shallow end with this topic.

I think the Japanese are being bombarded by images of western women in films, TV and adverts and think that's the norm. Beauty is subjective... I find those big mouthed, flaxen haired, big breasted American models with their impossibly white choppers rather freakish and not in the least attractive.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

I have to laugh at some of the comments here actually ridiculing Japanese for bothering to dress up before going out in public.

It is strange...knocking people for looking nice. Makes no sense at all.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Personally i think Japanese men amd woman are very good looking. Weird that they dont view themselves that way..

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I don't know... I always thought Japanese women were drop dead beautiful. That's just my personal opinion. And the men dressed stylish...

2 ( +2 / -0 )

The women are very attractive compared to the rest of the world.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I personally do not think Japanese people are more or less beautiful than others but they certainly dress well and have good taste.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I too personally think that the Japanese people, be it men or ladies, are good looking, well mannered and well dressed compared to a lot of other races in the world. But then, every race in this world have its on beauties and all but for me, the Japanese stands out a bit more... my personal view... :)

2 ( +2 / -0 )

It saddens me that so many in Japan are unsatisfied with how they look on the outside. 'Cause we all know that they would look just fine if they believed in themselves.

"Beauty is only skin deep" is wrong. Beauty wells up from within. If you are sad, stressed out or depressed, your skin will look sallow, you will not exercise enough, gain weight and so on. When you feel good in mind and body, you shine.

Shine on Japan!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

NathalieB,I was a model in my teens and twenties. I worked with a lot of very beautiful people. They were the most insecure bunch you`ve ever met. It seems to me the higher the imaginary bar is set, the more unhappy people get striving to attain it.

This is a real point here, the moment you declare someone beautiful their whole attention goes to their appearance/looks and they always remain extremely conscious about their looks and they are always struggling to give time or work on the human side of their personas, the lasting beauty of a person is being human, the honesty, the character and the humanity.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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