A future where aesthetics matter more

A study from Mindshare called Culture Vulture: Beauty has shown that youths are becoming increasingly obsessed with physical attractiveness more than the real world or personal development.

Beauty is the second edition of Culture Vulture that seeks to explore how today's societies look at, appreciate, define and experience beauty in its various forms - delving beyond the realm of physical aesthetics into all aspects of culture ranging from architecture to technology to food.

The study pointed a future in which cosmetic surgery is accepted as the norm in most developed societies and technology enables people to view an ‘upgraded' version of themselves through virtual or augmented reality and smartphone apps.

Culture Vulture: Beauty also found out a parallel trend for brands to beautify their marketing efforts in a screen-bsessed world.

"In a world of fragmented media and content overload, it is the things of beauty that stand out, becoming ‘social currency' that people want to associate with and pass along through word-of-mouth," said Cat Williams (pictured), director, strategy APAC at Mindshare, who led the project globally.

Culture Vulture: Beauty drew its findings from a process that integrated primary research from ‘Mindreader', Mindshare's global study amongst 36,000 people in 36 countries, with expert interviews with opinion-leaders from Asia-Pacific, Latin America, North America and Europe.

Culture Vulture: Beauty identified 15 ‘cultural dynamics' - patterns in social behaviours and attitudes that capture the prevailing spirit of the times - that are related to how beauty is perceived by youth around the world.

From these cultural dynamics, five umbrella themes emerged that may be applied to inspire brand communications; in addition to ‘Skin Deep', themes identified and discussed in depth in the report included ‘Anarchy & Rebellion', ‘Depth & Substance', ‘Rebirth', and ‘Experiential'.