Male grooming and cultural influences: Love Island’s impact

By Lucy Whitehouse contact

- Last updated on GMT

Image credit: ITV
Image credit: ITV
Mintel, a market research provider, has drawn a link between current cultural phenomena and male grooming trends in the UK.

The firm has released analyst insight on the potential link between current major TV shows popular in the region, and British men’s grooming routines.

Love Island, a hit reality TV show that follows couples competing to win a significant cash prize while marooned together in a sun-splashed villa, has supposedly encouraged a move towards a ‘spornosexual’ look.

Jack Duckett, Senior Consumers Lifestyle Analyst at Mintel, explains​: “Spornosexuals – a portmanteau of “sports”, “porn” and “metrosexual” – are characterised not only by a hyper-athletic physique, but also by minimal, if any, body hair.

“While a number of factors have contributed to the evolution of the trend, reality TV shows such as Love Island and The Only Way is Essex have undoubtedly been the driving force behind the increasing fashion for this aesthetic.”

Product launches response: squeaky clean

nivea men

“As body hair has become less fashionable for men, a number of beauty brands are launching targeted products,​” explains Duckett.

One company responding to this rising trend is Beiersdorf, with its Nivea brand having long been one of the market-leaders when it comes to male grooming.

As Duckett notes: “Nivea launched what it claimed to be the UK’s first body shaving range in March 2018. The Nivea Men Anti-irritation Body Shaving line includes a body shaving stick designed for easy use in the shower, as well as a more traditional shaving gel and an after shave body lotion.

“Meanwhile, there is scope for razor brands to show how their products are suitable to be used all over the body.”

Hair on the horizon?

However, Duckett also notes that another competing trend is on the rise, and may similarly be being driven by popular TV shows in the UK.

The analyst points specifically to Poldark, a popular BBC drama.

“The fashion for an ultra-smooth torso is being increasingly challenged by a growing number of far more hirsute male role models, with actor Aidan Turner perhaps garnering the most attention for his performance in the BBC drama Poldark,​” Duckett confirms.

“As such, the wider prominence of a more hirsute male role model could see men turn away from high maintenance body hair removal, focusing instead on keeping hair under control.

Gillette for example, offers a step by step tutorial on its website for its All Purpose Styler, with guidance on how to use the device on different areas of the body.”

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