Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Irish Women & Body Image

I came across a very interesting article in this week's Limerick Independent concerning a recent survey of Irish women's attitudes towards their body shape.

The Kelloggs Special K Fabulous Survey, revealed that an overwhelming 61% of Irish women aged 20-30 would like to be slimmer and only 31% of those surveyed are happy with their current size.

Imagine, 7/10 twenty-something females are unhappy with their shape.

I am dismayed but not altogether surprised by this statistic. As a personal stylist, I meet many women with self-image issues that negatively impact on their confidence, relationships and sociability. Yet, these very same women have beautiful figures and gorgeous faces.

The real irony here is that there is, of course, no such thing as the perfect shape. 'The Perfect Shape' is a fantasy created by glossy magazines and advertisers. Paradoxically, it is our imperfections that make us perfect...and magic knickers if necessary! In the words of Baz Luhrmann (Everybody's Free to Wear Sunscreen), "(your body) is the greatest instrument you'll ever own". Love, nourishment, care and pride is what it needs - not unfavorable, unfair comparisons to airbrushed models.

Back to the survey, I was intrigued to note that those polled in Munster appear to be more satisfied with their body shape than the national average. In Munster, 44% of twenty-somethings would prefer to be "a little smaller" and a further 10% yearn to be "a lot smaller". Whereas 40% are happy with their current size, which is significantly higher than the national figure of 31%.

I'm curious as to why to Munster women appear happier with their shapes but I'm not going to make any suppositions. In any case I'm more concerned that we as a nation improve our collective confidence and be happier in ourselves. Encouragingly, the seeds are there; the respondents in this survey believe that the best style years lie ahead for them.

On an even more positive note, 87% of those surveyed nationally agreed that women can be stylish no matter their size. Well I'm debunking that statistic right now; in actual fact 100% of women can look stylish no matter their size, it's just a matter of finding flattering clothing styles and colours and wearing them with pride...and a smile!

Yours in style,

To find out more about dressing for your body shape, see my website, http://www.stylebycaroline.ie/

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