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Are we all just an island of fakers?

Figures show 1 in 4 of us across the UK have spent money on things like false eyelashes, hair extensions and fake tans over the last year. 

With Love Island 2019 set to be one of the most popular ever, pulling in over 6 million viewers for the launch episode alone, figures show 1 in 4 of us across the UK have spent money on things like false eyelashes, hair extensions and fake tans over the last year.

According to a survey of 2000 people across the UK the reasons for using these products are that they are easier to use, better quality and safer.

Of those who said they’d spent money on artificial products over the last 12 months, 33% admitted they are spending more on them now than they were 5 years ago.

The study also revealed that: 

– Consumers aged 25 to 35 use fake or artificial products more than any other age group

– Women spent more on fake/artificial products than men over the last year.

– Men have invested more in ‘fake smiles’ than women in the last year 

– People in the North East invest more on fake/artificial products than any other region in the UK

Dr Pascal Burgmer is a Lecturer in Social and Organisational Psychology at the University of Kent. He said: “It does not seem surprising that people will opt for a “fake product” in cases where the real thing seems not attainable or requires a lot more effort or money.

“People are highly motivated to comply with certain social norms, such as beauty norms, so they really do want to send that signal to others.

“However, they might not want to put in the effort or money to get there.

“Today, certain industries offer products and shortcuts for that, and it has become more socially acceptable to use these.

“So these products have made complying with such norms easier for a greater number of people, but they have also changed what certain signals mean.

“From a psychological perspective, this is also interesting because people usually put great emphasis on authenticity, and they tend to prefer originals over copies.

“So the increasing interest in such products suggests that under some circumstances, it seems more important to people to comply with the social norm than to value authenticity or the real thing.

“I think that the areas of interpersonal attraction and impression management (e.g., in dating) are definitely very likely to motivate people to suspend authenticity in order to make the best first impression they can”

Dr Burgmer adds: “Programmes like Love Island definitely offer certain comparison standards to those watching them, and they suggest that this is the social norm, and that this is what people (and their homes) are supposed to look like in order to succeed on the dating market or to be perceived as successful.

“First impressions and complying with beauty norms have always mattered, but the focus might have shifted, because our communication.

“The dating market has also become more visual and much faster, and the number of potential candidates has increased by a lot.

“People also draw a great deal of self-knowledge and parts of their identity from the groups to which they belong.

“These groups have certain norms, that is, expectations with regards to attitudes or behaviour, and people are generally very motivated to comply with these.

“That’s why particularly consumers between 25 and 35 years of age seem to be drawn to “fake products”.

“For this age group, dating and finding the right partner matters more than for others.”

Nikki Bennett, director at Forever Green Lawns who commissioned the survey, said: “I’m not really surprised that people are opting to invest in these products.

“With the lifestyles and busy schedules of today’s living, people just don’t have the spare time anymore.

“Women today are especially more attuned to current changes in products.

“Us Brits are realising you can have it all and achieve perfection in all areas of your life at a fraction of the time or cost and that’s why the trend for faking it is booming.

“People are no longer ashamed to admit when something is not the real deal and are now celebrating all things artificial.”


Notes to Editors

About Dr Pascal Burgmer

Dr Pascal Burgmer is a Lecturer in Social and Organisational Psychology at the University of Kent. For further details click here:

About Forever Green Lawns

Established in 2005, Forever Green Lawns is one of the UK’s leading suppliers and stockists of artificial grass. Along with a network of artificial lawn installers, Forever Green Lawns offer a full supply-only service which includes all ranges of artificial grass, membrane, seaming tape and adhesive required to complete the job for the D.I.Y.-minded among us. Over the past 15 years Forever Green Lawns have supplied to thousands of happy customers, along with schools, pre-schools, event hire and commercial projects.

For further information, please contact:

Joanna Earle, PR and Media Manager at Reflect Digital

Email: [email protected] Office: 01622 728 800 Mobile: 07597 815 846

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