‘I am not Spending on my Appearance’! Examining Self-Evaluated Low-Level Consumers of Clothing and Beauty Care in Finland, 1999–2009

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The purpose of this study is to analyse consumers whose identity is not based on appearance-related consumption, but who want distance themselves from consumers willing to spend on physical appearance. The article examines importance of gender, age and place of residence in explaining self-evaluated low-level consumption of beauty care and clothing, and how the proportions of these consumers have changed between socio-demographic groups. The data consists of three cross-sectional consumption and lifestyle surveys collected in 1999 (N = 2 417), 2004 (N = 3 574) and 2009 (N = 1 202). The results suggest that a significant part of Finnish consumers do not consider beauty care or clothing consumption to be a part of their identity. The results indicate some temporal changes in Finnish consumers’ beauty care consumption evaluations. It seems that gender differences have been relatively stable, whereas disparities between consumers of different ages as well as urban and rural consumers have diminished.

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