The Daily Beast ranks San Francisco as most vain metro area in nation 

San Francisco, you’re so vain, you probably think this story is about you. And, actually, it is.

According to a survey by online magazine The Daily Beast, San Francisco is the vainest city in nation. The website rated San Francisco as being more narcissistic than the metropolitan areas of Boston, New York City and even Los Angeles.

The Daily Beast based its ratings on three criteria — how much city residents spend on average a month on personal-care products and services such as cosmetics and spa treatments; the percentage of the city’s population not overweight; and the percentage of the population that belongs to gyms.

San Francisco, according to the survey, spends an average of $111 a month on personal-care products. Meanwhile, it found that 50.3 percent of San Franciscans are not overweight, and 20.4 percent have gym memberships.

Some city residents interviewed in the Castro and Mission neighborhoods questioned the survey’s findings.

San Francisco native Brendan Neff-Hall, a holistic life coach who lives in the Castro, said the study erroneously equated healthy living with vanity.

“To me ... vain is more of an attitude and how you treat people ... and how do you measure that? It’s like saying people who run are vain,” Neff-Hall said.

Though not all that surprised by the study itself, some residents disagreed with San Francisco’s placement above rival L.A.

“I’ve lived in both Los Angeles and San Francisco. People from L.A. are more vain,” said Jade Sizemore, a 28-year-old anthropology graduate student at San Francisco State. “I think that it seems like people in San Francisco spend more money on things that pertain to their health. People in L.A. seem more vain to me because they’re more concerned, it seems, with image.”

Malo Hutson, an assistant professor of city and regional planning at UC Berkeley, dismissed the survey as being for entertainment purposes only.

“It seems like the methodology ... you just can’t take it seriously,” Hutson said.

He explained that metropolitan areas were complex and that trying to “boil” a city’s vanity “into a nutshell” was solely for kitsch value.

“Put it this way: I’m a tenured professor at Berkeley ... [and] I would never conduct a study like that,” Hutson said.

Vanity mirror

Monthly personal-care costs - $111
Not overweight - 50.3%
Belonging to gyms - 20.4%

Monthly personal-care costs - $106
Not overweight - 44.6%
Belonging to gyms - 23.2%

Monthly personal-care costs - $81
Not overweight - 44.0%
Belonging to gyms - 21.7%

Monthly personal-care costs - $88
Not overweight - 39.0%
Belonging to gyms - 18.4%

Monthly personal-care costs - $88
Not overweight - 43.0%
Belonging to gyms - 17.2%

Source: The Daily Beast

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