New York Is 17th Vainest U.S. City, But Too Busy Checking Out Self in Mirror To Care


This makes us look so bad.

Men’s Health just released its ranking of America’s vainest cities: Tampa, Fla. tops the list and New York comes in 17th.

You can read the whole thing here, but what we really wanted to know: why aren’t we at the top of the list?

We decided to ask Men’s Health Executive Editor Matt Marion.

We talked about our own journalistic aspirations for an hour, and then we chatted with him for a few minutes about why we weren’t no. 1.

Village Voice: OK, why the survey? And what does that mean for us?

Matt Marion: We thought this would be a really good topic to explore during the summer. Everybody is really body-conscious, and this year, we wanted to show people how looks-driven they are compared to people in other cities.

Village Voice: We’ve totally been to other cities. So how did you figure out how vain we are?

Marion: We just thought of all the different ways that people try to improve their looks and how they take time and money to do it — everything from the most obvious and extreme cosmetic procedures such as Botox to seemingly mundane things like using teeth whiteners at home. Also, some people responded to surveys about how far they would go to look younger.

Voice: Do we look old?

Marion: New York has the no. 1 number of people who said ‘I’ll do whatever I have to do to look younger.”

Voice: But we’re not even no. 1?

Marion: New York did rank pretty high. It’s 17 out of 100 cities — it’s just showing that a few of them 16 in fact are even more vain.

Village Voice: Well at least we’re not at the bottom of the list, that would make us look even worse…

Marion: Maybe in those cities, people are concerned with more practical matters or maybe they’re like OK with their appearance. People might not want to strive as much in the vanity department because maybe they say to themselves: ‘Maybe I should spend my money on other things that will make me feel good inside rather than things that make me look good on the inside?’

Voice: Maybe. So how do we reach the top slot?

Marion: New York has its work cut out for it if it really wants that title. There were some categories where New York definitely finished near the top, but low in others. New York was not as high in the number of tanning salons per 100,000 people, so that brought the score down, for example.