Go Back   English Forum Switzerland > Living in Switzerland > Daily life
Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 17.08.2015, 08:58
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: Zurich
Posts: 42
Groaned at 13 Times in 5 Posts
Thanked 47 Times in 16 Posts
NT007 has no particular reputation at present
Swiss self image or

I wasnt sure how to name this thread but there is a general trait in Swiss culture that i have noticed and wanted to hear others views.
Having lived here for couple of years i have come to believe that the Swiss put a very very high importance on image. Self/body image i suppose. The way you look determines a lot, even job success.

The other thing i have noticed is that Swiss like money. A lot. Ive noticed how people become friendlier when they realise what car you drive or where you work, where you do your shopping or if they see something expensive you are wearing. Is the image obsession stronger here?

I know there are different people in every country but the importance of "perfect image" here seems to be higher than say in the UK.
Reply With Quote
The following 2 users would like to thank NT007 for this useful post:
  #2  
Old 17.08.2015, 09:00
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Zurich
Posts: 9,168
Groaned at 520 Times in 398 Posts
Thanked 11,921 Times in 4,665 Posts
Richdog has a reputation beyond reputeRichdog has a reputation beyond reputeRichdog has a reputation beyond reputeRichdog has a reputation beyond reputeRichdog has a reputation beyond reputeRichdog has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Swiss self image or

I think you need to find new friends or change your social circles, because personally none of the Swiss I know are so shallow. Same with my work colleagues, they're all all just regular guys.

However objectively speaking yes people do care about body image, and there are a ridiculous amount of good and healthy looking people (male and female) in Switzerland vs pretty any much any other country I have been to. I don't think that automatically translates to narcissism though, it's just an overall naturally high standard.
Reply With Quote
The following 12 users would like to thank Richdog for this useful post:
  #3  
Old 17.08.2015, 09:25
Forum Veteran
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Geneva
Posts: 1,975
Groaned at 18 Times in 17 Posts
Thanked 1,978 Times in 805 Posts
McTAVGE has a reputation beyond reputeMcTAVGE has a reputation beyond reputeMcTAVGE has a reputation beyond reputeMcTAVGE has a reputation beyond reputeMcTAVGE has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Swiss self image or

Quote:
View Post
I wasnt sure how to name this thread but there is a general trait in Swiss culture that i have noticed and wanted to hear others views.
Having lived here for couple of years i have come to believe that the Swiss put a very very high importance on image. Self/body image i suppose. The way you look determines a lot, even job success.

The other thing i have noticed is that Swiss like money. A lot. Ive noticed how people become friendlier when they realise what car you drive or where you work, where you do your shopping or if they see something expensive you are wearing. Is the image obsession stronger here?

I know there are different people in every country but the importance of "perfect image" here seems to be higher than say in the UK.

Go out of Zurich and travel round Schwyz, Uri...you'll change your perception quickly!
Reply With Quote
The following 5 users would like to thank McTAVGE for this useful post:
  #4  
Old 17.08.2015, 09:44
Phil_MCR's Avatar
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Basel
Posts: 11,472
Groaned at 246 Times in 157 Posts
Thanked 13,324 Times in 5,675 Posts
Phil_MCR has a reputation beyond reputePhil_MCR has a reputation beyond reputePhil_MCR has a reputation beyond reputePhil_MCR has a reputation beyond reputePhil_MCR has a reputation beyond reputePhil_MCR has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Swiss self image or

Quote:
View Post
I wasnt sure how to name this thread but there is a general trait in Swiss culture that i have noticed and wanted to hear others views.
Having lived here for couple of years i have come to believe that the Swiss put a very very high importance on image. Self/body image i suppose. The way you look determines a lot, even job success.

The other thing i have noticed is that Swiss like money. A lot. Ive noticed how people become friendlier when they realise what car you drive or where you work, where you do your shopping or if they see something expensive you are wearing. Is the image obsession stronger here?

I know there are different people in every country but the importance of "perfect image" here seems to be higher than say in the UK.
Yes, this is true, at least for Zurich. I've even seen that also in a professional context. It seems, at least in a Big 4 context, how you dress has a big impact. One case I saw had a girl being rated low for 'professionalism' which surprised her and when she asked what that was about, one person mentioned they way she dressed (business casual). When she started wearing a suit, she got rated high in professionalism. Go figure.

I see this also outside work. Though, to be honest, looks, money, status, job are factors in many places. The money focus is something that I found to be worse than in London (although in the UK it is augmented by housing obsession).
__________________
By replying to this post, you hereby grant Phil_MCR a royalty-free license to use, in any way, anything posted by you on the internet. If you do not accept, stop using EF and delete your account.
Reply With Quote
The following 6 users would like to thank Phil_MCR for this useful post:
  #5  
Old 17.08.2015, 09:52
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Zurich
Posts: 9,168
Groaned at 520 Times in 398 Posts
Thanked 11,921 Times in 4,665 Posts
Richdog has a reputation beyond reputeRichdog has a reputation beyond reputeRichdog has a reputation beyond reputeRichdog has a reputation beyond reputeRichdog has a reputation beyond reputeRichdog has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Swiss self image or

Quote:
View Post
Yes, this is true, at least for Zurich. I've even seen that also in a professional context. It seems, at least in a Big 4 context, how you dress has a big impact. One case I saw had a girl being rated low for 'professionalism' which surprised her and when she asked what that was about, one person mentioned they way she dressed (business casual). When she started wearing a suit, she got rated high in professionalism. Go figure.

I see this also outside work. Though, to be honest, looks, money, status, job are factors in many places. The money focus is something that I found to be worse than in London (although in the UK it is augmented by housing obsession).
In a Big 4 context, I have never seen or heard of anyone been rated down for dressing in business casual, as that is the standard dress code around an office.

If at a client site, then yes you are supposed to dress smarter in a suit or female equivalent. In fact, I have hardly ever seen a woman in Switzerland or Germany wearing a suit whether in the office or at client site, as smart trousers/skirt and a smart shirt are considered fine.
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 17.08.2015, 11:52
ipoddle's Avatar
Forum Veteran
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: basel
Posts: 750
Groaned at 20 Times in 13 Posts
Thanked 615 Times in 269 Posts
ipoddle has earned the respect of manyipoddle has earned the respect of manyipoddle has earned the respect of many
Re: Swiss self image or

I shamelessly drive a 'big fast car' (an 'old' one... but still a v8 5ltr ) .. the few swiss I know have told me off .. the brits I know go 'phwoarr'

I dont think they're that shallow.. if anything they're far more 'eco' conscious .. at least compared to me and my dinosaur mates

Plus.. some brits at work do the whole suit/shirts with cufflinks thing.. and I know there's mutterings that they're 'showing off'
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 17.08.2015, 12:14
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: CH
Posts: 5,101
Groaned at 188 Times in 147 Posts
Thanked 6,059 Times in 3,274 Posts
greenmount has a reputation beyond reputegreenmount has a reputation beyond reputegreenmount has a reputation beyond reputegreenmount has a reputation beyond reputegreenmount has a reputation beyond reputegreenmount has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Swiss self image or

Quote:
View Post
I wasnt sure how to name this thread but there is a general trait in Swiss culture that i have noticed and wanted to hear others views.
Having lived here for couple of years i have come to believe that the Swiss put a very very high importance on image. Self/body image i suppose. The way you look determines a lot, even job success.

The other thing i have noticed is that Swiss like money. A lot. Ive noticed how people become friendlier when they realise what car you drive or where you work, where you do your shopping or if they see something expensive you are wearing. Is the image obsession stronger here?

I know there are different people in every country but the importance of "perfect image" here seems to be higher than say in the UK.
Some Swiss care about their image (and some are shallow), some not. On average they are fitter than any other population I know, but this is due to their life style. And people do seem to enjoy ageing naturally here.
I would define "image obsession" that phenomenon taking place in the USA for instance - btw is there any other country with so many esthetic surgeries?
Reply With Quote
The following 3 users would like to thank greenmount for this useful post:
  #8  
Old 17.08.2015, 12:25
ZuriRollt's Avatar
Forum Veteran
 
Join Date: Aug 2015
Location: Zürich
Posts: 1,785
Groaned at 41 Times in 31 Posts
Thanked 2,049 Times in 922 Posts
ZuriRollt has a reputation beyond reputeZuriRollt has a reputation beyond reputeZuriRollt has a reputation beyond reputeZuriRollt has a reputation beyond reputeZuriRollt has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Swiss self image or

Quote:
View Post
Some Swiss care about their image (and some are shallow), some not. On average they are fitter than any other population I know, but this is due to their life style. And people do seem to enjoy ageing naturally here.
I would define "image obsession" that phenomenon taking place in the USA for instance - btw is there any other country with so many esthetic surgeries?
Generally agree Greenmount, but as to the "Natural ageing" - you might be surprised to read the following from TA a couple of weeks ago(sorry, but in German)

http://blog.tagesanzeiger.ch/datenbl...ationen-boomen

In summary, taking into account the no. of esthetic surgeries in comparison to the population - Switzerland is World leader! :

Anders sieht es aus, wenn man die Zahlen in Relation zur Bevölkerung setzt – dann rückt die Schweiz an die Spitze. Im Jahr 2011 gab es hierzulande pro zehntausend Einwohner 59 Schönheitsoperationen – so viel wie in keinem anderen Land. Platz zwei teilen sich Griechenland und Südkorea mit rund 53 Eingriffen, gefolgt von Italien (52 Eingriffe) und Brasilien (46 Eingriffe). In den USA, dem Land mit den meisten Schönheitsoperationen überhaupt, kommen auf zehntausend Einwohner lediglich 35 Eingriffe. Das Schlusslicht bildet Indien mit zwei Schönheitsoperationen.

Google Translate (for any non-German speakers who might be interested):

The situation is different if one puts the numbers in relation to the population - this puts Switzerland at the top. In 2011, there were in this country per ten thousand inhabitants 59 plastic surgeries - as much as in any other country. Second place shared by Greece and South Korea with approximately 53 interventions, followed by Italy (52 interventions) and Brazil (46 interventions). In the US, the country with the most cosmetic surgery at all, come to ten thousand inhabitants, only 35 interventions. Last place is India with two plastic surgeries.

Last edited by ZuriRollt; 17.08.2015 at 13:13. Reason: Additional info. (in English)
Reply With Quote
The following 4 users would like to thank ZuriRollt for this useful post:
  #9  
Old 17.08.2015, 12:29
Phil_MCR's Avatar
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Basel
Posts: 11,472
Groaned at 246 Times in 157 Posts
Thanked 13,324 Times in 5,675 Posts
Phil_MCR has a reputation beyond reputePhil_MCR has a reputation beyond reputePhil_MCR has a reputation beyond reputePhil_MCR has a reputation beyond reputePhil_MCR has a reputation beyond reputePhil_MCR has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Swiss self image or

Quote:
View Post
I would define "image obsession" that phenomenon taking place in the USA for instance - btw is there any other country with so many esthetic surgeries?
south korea
Reply With Quote
This user would like to thank Phil_MCR for this useful post:
  #10  
Old 17.08.2015, 12:32
Phil_MCR's Avatar
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Basel
Posts: 11,472
Groaned at 246 Times in 157 Posts
Thanked 13,324 Times in 5,675 Posts
Phil_MCR has a reputation beyond reputePhil_MCR has a reputation beyond reputePhil_MCR has a reputation beyond reputePhil_MCR has a reputation beyond reputePhil_MCR has a reputation beyond reputePhil_MCR has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Swiss self image or

Quote:
View Post
I have never seen or heard of anyone been rated down for dressing in business casual
well. now you have

i guess there are variations within teams, but even if it doesn't get to the point of marking down in a performance report, I wonder how much impact it could secretly have on your career.

actually, swiss 'dress for success' mentality is a reasonably well-known sterotype. even the local has heard of it!

http://www.thelocal.ch/galleries/cul...ness-etiquette
Reply With Quote
The following 2 users would like to thank Phil_MCR for this useful post:
  #11  
Old 17.08.2015, 12:43
Wollishofener's Avatar
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Glattbrugg
Posts: 19,028
Groaned at 333 Times in 258 Posts
Thanked 11,712 Times in 6,857 Posts
Wollishofener has a reputation beyond reputeWollishofener has a reputation beyond reputeWollishofener has a reputation beyond reputeWollishofener has a reputation beyond reputeWollishofener has a reputation beyond reputeWollishofener has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Swiss self image or

Quote:
View Post
Go out of Zurich and travel round Schwyz, Uri...you'll change your perception quickly!

Go INTO Zürich and travel around in Zürich, and you will change your completely wrong and weird perception quickly
Reply With Quote
The following 3 users would like to thank Wollishofener for this useful post:
  #12  
Old 17.08.2015, 12:45
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: CH
Posts: 5,101
Groaned at 188 Times in 147 Posts
Thanked 6,059 Times in 3,274 Posts
greenmount has a reputation beyond reputegreenmount has a reputation beyond reputegreenmount has a reputation beyond reputegreenmount has a reputation beyond reputegreenmount has a reputation beyond reputegreenmount has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Swiss self image or

Quote:
View Post
Generally agree Greenmount, but as to the "Natural ageing" - you might be surprised to read the following from TA a couple of weeks ago(sorry, but in German)
Oh well, another myth demolished....
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 17.08.2015, 12:46
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Zurich
Posts: 9,168
Groaned at 520 Times in 398 Posts
Thanked 11,921 Times in 4,665 Posts
Richdog has a reputation beyond reputeRichdog has a reputation beyond reputeRichdog has a reputation beyond reputeRichdog has a reputation beyond reputeRichdog has a reputation beyond reputeRichdog has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Swiss self image or

Quote:
View Post
well. now you have

i guess there are variations within teams, but even if it doesn't get to the point of marking down in a performance report, I wonder how much impact it could secretly have on your career.

actually, swiss 'dress for success' mentality is a reasonably well-known sterotype. even the local has heard of it!

http://www.thelocal.ch/galleries/cul...ness-etiquette
That list is kind of filler and basic common sense, and applies to just about every modern EU country when conducting business with clients.

Last edited by Richdog; 17.08.2015 at 13:30.
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old 17.08.2015, 12:51
NotAllThere's Avatar
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Baselland
Posts: 8,967
Groaned at 140 Times in 122 Posts
Thanked 12,243 Times in 5,007 Posts
NotAllThere has a reputation beyond reputeNotAllThere has a reputation beyond reputeNotAllThere has a reputation beyond reputeNotAllThere has a reputation beyond reputeNotAllThere has a reputation beyond reputeNotAllThere has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Swiss self image or

The one super-rich Swiss person I know dresses very shabbily and drives a Smart car. He has a very nice house in an extremely exclusive area. So exclusive, his house is the only one in it.
Reply With Quote
This user would like to thank NotAllThere for this useful post:
  #15  
Old 17.08.2015, 13:00
adrianlondon's Avatar
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Basel
Posts: 8,790
Groaned at 189 Times in 172 Posts
Thanked 24,220 Times in 6,522 Posts
adrianlondon has a reputation beyond reputeadrianlondon has a reputation beyond reputeadrianlondon has a reputation beyond reputeadrianlondon has a reputation beyond reputeadrianlondon has a reputation beyond reputeadrianlondon has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Swiss self image or

Quote:
View Post
The one super-rich Swiss person I know dresses very shabbily and drives a Smart car. He has a very nice house in an extremely exclusive area. So exclusive, his house is the only one in it.
It's a bitch to get to though.
Attached Thumbnails
swiss-self-image-ap_nail_house_china_hill_red_aerial_ss_thg_130731_ssh.jpg  
Reply With Quote
The following 8 users would like to thank adrianlondon for this useful post:
  #16  
Old 17.08.2015, 18:29
BokerTov's Avatar
Forum Veteran
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: USA, former Zurich
Posts: 1,809
Groaned at 11 Times in 11 Posts
Thanked 3,701 Times in 1,332 Posts
BokerTov has a reputation beyond reputeBokerTov has a reputation beyond reputeBokerTov has a reputation beyond reputeBokerTov has a reputation beyond reputeBokerTov has a reputation beyond reputeBokerTov has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Swiss self image or

My Big 4 experience has definitely been different - while I have not personally experienced someone being rated down for professionalism for wearing business casual, the only offices I have worked in or visited where business casual dress was the norm were the ones in Silicon Valley and Seattle. You do have a "this is how we dress in this office" talk on day 1 of your employment relationship, and any time you are away from your home office for any reason.

Several offices in Germany, Zurich and Geneva, Mexico City, Tel Aviv, New York, Los Angeles, Miami, Buenos Aires, Paris, Sao Paulo, and most definitely Washington DC, just to name a few - all suits and dresses for women.

Keeping in mind that a multi-colored dress with 10-inch heels might be ok for business attire in Miami, but sticks out like a sore thumb in New York...

P.S. Cosmetic surgeries....Brazil of course!
Reply With Quote
This user would like to thank BokerTov for this useful post:
  #17  
Old 17.08.2015, 18:40
cannut's Avatar
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: canada
Posts: 6,445
Groaned at 175 Times in 135 Posts
Thanked 5,514 Times in 3,042 Posts
cannut has a reputation beyond reputecannut has a reputation beyond reputecannut has a reputation beyond reputecannut has a reputation beyond reputecannut has a reputation beyond reputecannut has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Swiss self image or

Quote:
View Post
I wasnt sure how to name this thread but there is a general trait in Swiss culture that i have noticed and wanted to hear others views.
Having lived here for couple of years i have come to believe that the Swiss put a very very high importance on image. Self/body image i suppose. The way you look determines a lot, even job success.

The other thing i have noticed is that Swiss like money. A lot. Ive noticed how people become friendlier when they realise what car you drive or where you work, where you do your shopping or if they see something expensive you are wearing. Is the image obsession stronger here?

I know there are different people in every country but the importance of "perfect image" here seems to be higher than say in the UK.

This all happens after Switzerland copied the US of A Constitution
Reply With Quote
This user would like to thank cannut for this useful post:
  #18  
Old 17.08.2015, 19:03
Phil_MCR's Avatar
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Basel
Posts: 11,472
Groaned at 246 Times in 157 Posts
Thanked 13,324 Times in 5,675 Posts
Phil_MCR has a reputation beyond reputePhil_MCR has a reputation beyond reputePhil_MCR has a reputation beyond reputePhil_MCR has a reputation beyond reputePhil_MCR has a reputation beyond reputePhil_MCR has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Swiss self image or

Quote:
View Post
The one super-rich Swiss person I know dresses very shabbily and drives a Smart car. He has a very nice house in an extremely exclusive area. So exclusive, his house is the only one in it.
I recall a time when i was in my 20s and I visited a billionaire at his house on the Peak in Hong Kong. The thing that struck me was that he was dressed very modestly and spoke very modestly.

That experience really made an impression on me and stuck with me: people who have made it and are confident in themselves, really have no need to go out of their way to impress others.
Reply With Quote
The following 8 users would like to thank Phil_MCR for this useful post:
  #19  
Old 17.08.2015, 20:19
carver's Avatar
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: GB-CH moitié-moitié
Posts: 396
Groaned at 4 Times in 4 Posts
Thanked 142 Times in 105 Posts
carver is considered knowledgeablecarver is considered knowledgeablecarver is considered knowledgeable
Re: Swiss self image or

Quote:
View Post
Yes, this is true, at least for Zurich. I've even seen that also in a professional context. It seems, at least in a Big 4 context, how you dress has a big impact. One case I saw had a girl being rated low for 'professionalism' which surprised her and when she asked what that was about, one person mentioned they way she dressed (business casual). When she started wearing a suit, she got rated high in professionalism. Go figure.

I see this also outside work. Though, to be honest, looks, money, status, job are factors in many places. The money focus is something that I found to be worse than in London (although in the UK it is augmented by housing obsession).
IMO, it all goes back to land. The housing obsession in the UK is based - quite rightly IMO - on land ownership. I won't bore everyone with this too much, but there is a brief précis here: http://www.theguardian.com/commentis...ighland-spring and full knowledge here: http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/1841953105 - basically, if you helped out the saxe coburg gotha family in the UK invasion, you're sorted for generations.

Oddly enough, in Switzerland - probably the most democratic country in the world, yet with vested political power resting with the older generation / landowners, access to land and/or capital doesn't really exist for the younger generation - I've seen far too many of my Swiss friends' plans fail for lack of access to capital - they always end up with business idea crushing rents to pay to the oldies.

When the old people/families control all the capital, what is their left?

Perhaps the next least worst step is to be a pretender to the capital? i.e. nice threads?
__________________
Why must we spend decades of our lives paying the bankers' interest on [debt|money|credit] that they magicked out of nothing but thin air?
Reply With Quote
This user would like to thank carver for this useful post:
  #20  
Old 18.08.2015, 00:38
cannut's Avatar
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: canada
Posts: 6,445
Groaned at 175 Times in 135 Posts
Thanked 5,514 Times in 3,042 Posts
cannut has a reputation beyond reputecannut has a reputation beyond reputecannut has a reputation beyond reputecannut has a reputation beyond reputecannut has a reputation beyond reputecannut has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Swiss self image or

Quote:
View Post
I recall a time when i was in my 20s and I visited a billionaire at his house on the Peak in Hong Kong. The thing that struck me was that he was dressed very modestly and spoke very modestly.

That experience really made an impression on me and stuck with me: people who have made it and are confident in themselves, really have no need to go out of their way to impress others.

I don`t recall Donald Trump visiting Hong Kong
Reply With Quote
Reply




Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Self employed or not self employed, that is the question! PaulJarvis Employment 6 09.12.2013 21:56
Italy expo presence to polish Swiss image The Local Swiss news via The Local 1 20.05.2012 08:35
Google Image search now supports dragging an image into the search box. Upthehatters2008 General off-topic 10 05.09.2011 14:17
Contract with non-Swiss company - self-employed or through payroll company Forfiter Finance/banking/taxation 2 17.01.2011 10:45
arachnophobics beware - Swiss Spiders looking like wasps (image shown) PC_Advisor Daily life 8 16.09.2009 12:53


All times are GMT +2. The time now is 23:54.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.4
Copyright ©2000 - 2016, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
LinkBacks Enabled by vBSEO 3.1.0