Tuesday, 12 April 2011

Would you give up a year of your life to have the perfect body?

I was so surprised by this article that I'd like to share it with bloggers who struggle with their weight. 

The abstract below is part of the article that was written by an academic from the University of the West of England, one of Bristol's universities, and made public on national TV and the media recently, and seems to be yet a further sign that body image is becoming the most important factor in our lives.  As a bandit blogger I know and share the thought that being the right shape is important to our self esteem and therefore happiness, but I think this article shows that the DEGREE to which it is so, depends on our age.

The paragraphs that struck me most forcibly are in bold.  I'd be very interested to know what you think.

>>>Almost one-third of young women would trade at least a year of their lives to have a perfect body, according to a new survey of British undergraduates.

The survey found that 16 percent of young women queried said they'd trade a year of life for their ideal body weight and shape. Ten percent were willing to trade two to five years, and 2 percent were willing to trade up to 10 years of life away. One percent said they would give up 21 years or more.

But there is past science suggesting such body-loathing is common. The stigma against fat people is going global, according to a recent study. A study published in October in the journal Sex Roles found that even preschool girls are fixated on thinness.

About 320 women with an average age of 25 were surveyed on university campuses around the U.K. by researchers from the University of the West of England (UWE) and U.K. eating disorder charity The Succeed Foundation.

"The findings highlight that body image is an issue for all women, and not just adolescent girls, as is often thought," survey researcher Phillippa Diedrichs of UWE said in a statement. (This is her website at UWE - http://hls.uwe.ac.uk/profiles/Profile.aspx?id=2254194)

The majority of the women surveyed were dissatisfied with how they looked, the researchers found. Although 78 percent of the women sampled were normal weight — or even underweight — 79 percent of the survey group said they wanted to lose weight. Only 3 percent said they'd like to gain weight.

Negative thoughts about body image were almost universal: 93 percent of the women said they had negative thoughts about their appearance within the last week. Almost one-third had those thoughts several times a day. Almost half of all women surveyed said these pressures weren't entirely internal: 46 percent had experienced ridicule or bullying because of their appearance.

In addition, 39 percent of the women surveyed said they would have cosmetic surgery if money was not an option. Three-quarters of those women wanted multiple procedures.

Many women were also willing to make other sacrifices for the ideal body, the researchers found. About 13 percent said they'd give up 5,000 pounds ($8,138) a year in salary in return for their perfect body. Eight percent would give up a promotion at work, and 6 percent would give up earning a degree with honors. Nine percent were willing to give up time with friends and partners, while 7 percent said they'd trade in time with their family. Another 7 percent said they would sacrifice health to reach their ideal weight.>>>


Photo Finish -
from Lonicera's digital archives

My computer has temporarily died on me so my usual source of pictures is not available.  Instead I'm posting pictures I took last week at the dress rehearsal of the annual production by the Bristol Gilbert & Sullivan Operatic Society:
Gilbert & Sullivan's The Yeomen of the Guard.

Reluctant suitor proposes to the delight of the lady...

Jack Point the clown dies of unrequited love



OneStonedCrow said...

Hi Caroline, I can't comment on giving up a year of life for the perfect body ...

... love your pics, especially the one of the lady second from top

Darlin1 said...

It's too bad that so much of our self esteem is tied to our body size.
I come from a huge family of big people --some with issue and some not.
Are we taught to love ourselves? Or just born with it?

Reddirt Woman said...

Ahhh, Lonicera. This is a loaded post if ever I saw one... What a question. First off, it would have been easy for me to answer that until menopause hit and I started getting shorter and wider and adding pounds very surreptitiously. Now the question you posed made me stop and think but, Caroline, I don't believe I would have traded anything for a 'perfect' body. All my life I have used humor, including towards myself, to be comfortable in social situations. I learned very young if I couldn't laugh at myself I might as well curl up and whither away and learning that made my life incredibly easier in meeting and getting to know people. It helped me to overcome shyness and reticence so while I may have 'wished' for a different shape I would not have traded anything I know of for the 'perfect' body.

Thanks for the engaging trip through the gray matter. I haven't exercised my brain in such a way in a long time. Sorry to be so verbose...


Amanda Kiska said...

Interesting article. I think when I was fat I probably would have exchanged a year of my life for thinness, but now that I'm thin I'd say no way.

Dan.Eliot said...

Plastic surgery is becoming very popular with women these days as many women have become very conscious of their looks and appearance. People are judged by their physical appearance and this puts a lot of pressure on them to look good.

cosmetic surgery advice

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