MAJORITY SAY THEY DISCRIMINATE AGAINST OTHERS BASED ON LOOKS

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Collagen Corp. claims that 75% of Americans don't think vanity is a dirty word. Indeed, judging by Lifescapers' reaction, vanity now is the least venomous of the seven deadly sins.

Eleven times as many people would rather be called vain than selfish (33% vs. 3%) and almost 17 times as many would opt for vain over unkind (50% vs 3%). Vain is even preferable to dull (13% vs. 3%). A fourth of respondents to the fourth Lifescapes online poll through America Dialogue-a whimsical but important qualitative pulse on how Americans live-admit to being vain about their looks.

But looks, they say, are also relatively unimportant. Given a choice between a large visible run in their pantyhose or a painful corn on their toe, only 20% of women would rather suffer and look good.

Vanity can be a positive force-to build self-confidence and lead to a healthier lifestyle-but it sure brands a person negatively. Some 42% of Lifescapers feel Nancy Reagan is more vain than Snow White's mom, while 58% thought the queen of "mirror mirror on the wall" fame is vainer. Michael Jackson is so vain he beat out even Donald Trump (6l% vs. 39%). Lifescapers would rather see the oh-so-vain Ivana exposed in Vanity Fair than the current Mrs. Trump, Marla Maples (56% to 44%).

Some 18% of Lifescapers admit to having spent more than $50 on a haircut (22% of women and 7.5% of men) and 38% either perm, body wave or color their hair (including 17.5% of men styling and 22.5% coloring.) Some 11% have had a body part waxed, 14% have had a facial, 3% have had a tooth capped (including 2.5% of men for all), and 9% a pedicure. Almost a third (31%) regularly pluck their eyebrows-including 43% of women and 7.5% of men. Some 24% have fasted for a day or more to shed pounds and 32% have popped diet pills.

But many would rather have their places look good than themselves. Just 54% would rather gowithout their blow dryer than give up their Dustbuster, and 35% would give up the microwave rather than the bathroom scale.

Stranded on a desert island with the choice of one makeup item to take, 37% of respondents would spurn them all. Mascara tied with lipstick as the grooming aid of choice: 16% chose each. Another 6% chose blush, 3% powder and 1.5% hair mousse or spray.

Yet certain accessories are more indispensable than others. Fewer than a third (30% of both men and women) consider contact lenses "unnecessary" while just 41% regard tummy control underwear as frivolous. Roughly half (52% of both sexes) say a wig or toupee is not at all necessary while 45% could happily dispense with hair dye. And though miracle push-up bras are a relatively new phenom-just 62% consider them unnecessary while 4% couldn't live without a Wonderbra.

And not all disfigurements are equal. Lifescapers would much rather have lifeless than frizzy hair (58% to 40%). But that's preferable to a wart on their nose (89%). And 69% would rather have an overbite than acne scars (27%). Given a choice between a polyester outfit that they'd have to wear at least twice a week or a pronounced "New Yawk" accent, 75% would opt for the irritating voice. The same numbers would rather break a front tooth as a leg but 78% of Lifescapers would rather have chronic dandruff than (20%) bad breath.

Acne is a big turn-off, no doubt (40%), but 46% think facial hair on women is more unappealing. Other turn-offs: a double chin (20%); a tattoo (34%); cellulite thighs (27%); flabby upper arms (18%); chapped lips (16%); and, Cindy Crawford notwithstanding, a facial mole (13%). An equal number-12%-shudder at skinniness and love handles.

More respondents considered their eyes their best feature (35%) followed by their smile (26%), and hair (15%). Just 4% gave top billing to their figure or physique, (none were women); 2% to their legs and 1% to their nose. But when sizing up a member of the opposite sex, 33% said the smile was the most important feature while 26% said it's the eyes, 15% their body, 4% their hair and 1% their legs.

Some 68% of respondents say they want to lose weight while 6% would like to gain it; 39% would like to be taller, and 10% shorter.

Among female Lifescapers, 42% would consider getting a tummy tuck-and if it were instant and painless and totally confidential, 59% might do it. One in four is toying with the idea of liposuction-and 39% would if it were easy. More than 90%, on the other hand, are interested in undergarments that promise liposuction without surgery.

Some 18% are considering a face-lift-take away the bruising and other side effects-and 24% say they might undergo it. More than three times as many women are considering breast reduction as augmentation, (10% and 15% if cheap, painless et al vs. 3% and 6% with incentives for implants).

Some 6% have considered bobbing their nose (7.5% with the added incentives), and 6% with piercing a body part other than their earlobes. No one wants collagen injections in their lips-unless it's painless and permanent-and even then fewer than 2% admit an interest. Some 31% wouldn't consider any elective procedures-but that drops to 15% if it's easy and painless.

Some 13% of men say they've thought about a tummy tuck and 20% would be more inclined if it were painless, instant and secret. Another 6.8% have considered liposuction, penile and pectoral implants (13%, 13% and 11%, respectively, with incentives). Some 2.2% have toyed with a nose job-a number that rockets to 9% if no one would ever find out. Another 13% have mulled a face-lift (18% with incentives). Some 9% have thought about a tattoo and 11% are more inclined if it's painless. And while none confessed to an interest in piercing body parts, 9% might do it with all the incentives. Some 45% of male Lifescapers wouldn't consider these procedures under any circumstances: the inducements swayed just 5%.

Lifescapers think that overweight women are considerably more likely than balding men (61% vs. 38%) to worry more about their condition, that a gorgeous face is more potent ammunition than great legs (78% to 18%) and that rich folks tend to be better looking than poor ones (59% vs. 41%.).

They also think that good-looking people fare better in the workplace (90% vs. 10%), that unattractive women have a harder time than unattractive men (80% vs. 20%) and that overweight people are discriminated against (96% to 4%). Some 48% say they've been discriminated against because of the way they look, and 57% admit to discriminating against someone else for looks.

It may not carry as much weight as the Q score but a star's V score can help determine appropriateness as an endorser. Lifescapers regard Woody Allen as vainer than Mia Farrow (55% to 45%). Both sexes regard Don Johnson as more vain than Melanie Griffith (72% to 28%) and Bruce Willis far ahead of Demi Moore on the vanity scale (59% to 41%).

Hand the mirror to Warren Beatty; he's seen as more than twice as vain as Annette Benning (70% to 30%). Cindy Crawford gets 60% of the votes compared with Richard Gere's 40%; Julia Roberts 76% vs. 24% for Lyle Lovett; and Burt Reynolds snags 61% of the vote compared with Loni Anderson with 39%.

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