Perceived Personal Attractiveness and Self-Improvement Practices


The article discusses the results of a sociological survey of personal attractiveness perceptions and self-improvement practices (exercise, dieting, plastic surgery, learning, etc) in Ekaterinburg (Russia). The purpose of the research is to identify age- and gender-related similarities and differences in the perceptions of attractive appearance and personality traits among Russian people.  The survey was conducted in 2019 and covered 680 people of both sexes and different age groups. It also included 33 in-depth interviews with respondents from different age groups.  The survey results have shown that people resort to various practices for enhancing their physical shape and personality in accordance with the established stereotypes of outer and inner beauty. Younger generations of Russians continue to reproduce the gender asymmetry in their ideas of feminine and male beauty. The research has also brought to light the new system of gender inequality: women appear to be much more active in their pursuit of a healthy body and personality growth than men.  Inhabitants of Ekaterinburg most frequently resort to such self-improvement practices as exercise and healthy eating. People in all age groups gave lower ratings to such quality as stamina and productivity at work, which shows their lack of awareness of the role this quality plays in acquiring new knowledge and skills in the digital age.

Author Biographies

Natalya L. Antonova, Ural Federal University, Yekaterinburg, Russia

Natalya L. Antonova, Doctor of Sociological Sciences, Associate Professor, Professor, Department of Applied Sociology, Ural Federal University. Area of interests: theory and methodology of sociological research; sociology of social changes; urban studies; study of a human body; modern educational technologies; modern global processes. Author of over than 220 articles in sociology.

Anatoly V. Merenkov, Ural Federal University, Yekaterinburg, Russia

Anatoly V. Merenkov, Doctor of Philosophical Sciences, Professor, Head of Department of Applied Sociology, Ural Federal University. Area of interests: theory and practice of personal development; influence of natural and socio-cultural factors on the socialization of children of different ages; mechanisms of development and self-development in ontogenesis; and the peculiarities of the formation and destruction of social stereotypes. Author of 370 articles in sociology and pedagogy.


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How to Cite
Antonova, N., & Merenkov, A. (2020). Perceived Personal Attractiveness and Self-Improvement Practices. Changing Societies & Personalities, 4(1), 91–106. doi:10.15826/csp.2020.4.1.091