Unmasking the Quintessential Indian Male

Authored by Rinku Patnaik, Chief Client Officer, Ipsos India.

The definition of the ideal Indian male has been a maze!

It has not stuck to one pattern. In fact, we’ve seen it transform over the years. And how the codes have changed and the movie industry per se, is a reflection of our society: from the young angry man portrayed by Amitabh Bachchan, then, hard work embodied by Akshay Kumar, doing the right thing (Aamir Khan) to essaying the eternal lover boy (SRK) to now it’s about someone who is  lean, strong and agile (Ranbir Kapoor, fits the bill the most)  –  so. the Indian male and its codes have metamorphosed over the years.  

So, who is the archetypical Indian male? Ipsos Global Advisor Global Attitudes to Beauty Survey, has unmasked the salient attributes, that bring out the composition of the desi role model.

Nowadays, it is a tall order to measure up, with everyone aspiring to be that perfect guy.    

As per the recent Ipsos Global Advisor Global Attitudes to Beauty Survey, conducted in 27 markets, the attributes of the Indian male juxtapose attitudes with physical attributes, unlocking idealism.

The ideal Indian male is one who is sure of oneself and his persona reflects happiness. Interestingly, he is someone, seen as kind, gentle and has the intelligence, which gives him the wisdom to not be flippant.

At the same time, the conventional measures of professional and financial success come into play - deep pockets with hard work.

Youthfulness is also a key salient attribute for the perfect Indian male; so, a man is as old as he feels is now supplemented with also as old as he looks. Hence the importance of looking and feeling youthful is critical with his sense of style which extends beyond the clothes to also skin and hairstyling.   

Who fits the bill?

Personally, I feel it’s the likes of Virat Kohli, Farhan Akhtar and even Ranbir Kapoor are some of the male brand ambassadors who embody most of these attributes. They are versatile and smart and have made a name for self with sheer hard work. They do not exude raw machismo but are smart and intelligent with a softer side to themselves. 

How about physical attributes?

We cannot have control on most of the physical features. But the survey highlights some of the most desirable traits in Indian males!

The ideal Indian male is still seen as someone who is 5 feet 5 inches to 6 feet 1 inch with black/ brown hair and brown eyes. Bald/ shaved heads is still very low on preference. Though males with blue and grey eyes are also considered highly desirable! Further, too lanky and too pleasantly stout men get a thumbs down, while athletic men, with body type 4, 5 and 3, are seen as drool worthy.

The survey provides interesting features of idealism. 

These insights are a revelation into the psyche of Indians; both  from marketers and consumers standpoint. 


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