The Future Consumers

19 out of 20 young women 'would change bodies'

By Kevin Rawlinson, Tuesday, 3 November 2009

Angelina Jolie age 16 as a swimwear model, Daily Mail online.
Girls as young as seven would like to change something about their appearance and half of 16 to 21-year-olds would consider surgery to achieve their perfect body, a study has revealed.The research, carried out by Girlguiding UK, shows that 95 per cent of 16 to 21-year-olds would change their bodies, with 33 per cent saying they wanted to be thinner and around a quarter of 16 to 21-year-olds said they would consider resorting to cosmetic surgery. “We all compare ourselves to our peers, whoever they may be and for girls and young women, their peers are usually other young women,” said Dr Kerry O’Brien, a Psychologist at the University of Manchester. “For them, as with others it is about finding their place in the world and wanting to compare favourably. Unfortunately, considering the approach of the media, that is often not the case. “Many girls try to measure up to an image which is not a true reflection and can feel that they are coming up short,” he added. A further 12 per cent of 11 to 16-year-olds would consider having a gastric band or plastic surgery and five per cent would think about Botox to achieve the body image they wanted. Weight is less of an issue for younger girls, with only five per cent of seven to nine-year-olds wanting to get slimmer. But the figure rose to 12 per cent of 10 to 11-year-olds, and 27 per cent of 11 to 16-year-olds. Among 7 to 11-year-olds, 72 per cent said they would change something about themselves, the most common complaint being their teeth. Liberal Democrat MP Jo Swinson, whose party wants to ban airbrushing pictures, blamed the pressure young girls find themselves under on an “unrealistic idea of what is beautiful means.”



These young girls are the future consumers in the fashion industry, and they're not happy with themselves. Will these girls be the same when they grow up? Will they continue to have their insecurities? I believe yes, it will continue to be a problem. But the answer isn't to have size 16 models on the catwalk or have Gok Wan tell unhealthy people they're beautiful, the issue is security. The brands of the future need to tell these women that it's ok how they look, and they look fabulous as long as they're healthy. These are the types of women that wouldn't want to disclose their sizes to anyone unless it were private. If you could send a fashion brand your measurements and have them (realistically) tell you if you are healthy by calculating your BMI, you'd be much happier with buying from them since you're getting more information. If you pre-ordered a dress in a size 8 but you're currently a size ten, the brand could tell you how much weight you'd need to lose and (again realistically) whether it's healthy for you to do so. It's over a 6 month period, and they can keep in touch telling you whether you're going to fit when it arrives or not. To add an extra goal in being more healthy, they could say that if you won't fit they won't give it to you until you do.

My opinion on health is this: everything is good for you, it's too much of something that's bad. If you have butter on your toast, fine, if you have butter on everything, not fine. Thinking about what you're eating is a great way to lose weight. If you look at a chocolate bar and think, and apple would be healthier, do it! Eat an apple! And why are models skinny? Because they're judging their bodies on what the other models look like.

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