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Selfie-obsessed: study reveals how 18-24 year olds really feel about their bodies


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It is no wonder that the ‘selfie’ phenomenon has become an essential part of the daily routine for Britain’s young population, as statistics released by a leading cosmetic surgery group reveal that 23% of 18-24 year olds admit their hair is their favourite feature, and a further 15% reveal it is their face. 

Selfie obsessionThe report, compiled by Transform Cosmetic Surgery, contains results from a recent study of 2,000 UK respondents, and also reveals that eyes are the stand-out feature for both men and women according to 18-24 year olds, and a smile is classed as the most attractive asset. 

The clinic’s study also found that: 

  • 41% of 18-24 year olds revealed their stomach is their least favourite body part and a further 11% said they dislike their legs the most. 

  • 24% of 18-24 year olds say they don’t have a favourite body part (24%) and of the remaining, 23% said their hair and 15% said their face. 

  • 36% of 18-24 year olds said health was the most important factor to them. 

  • 21% of 18-24 year olds said they think their looks/appearance has got them further in a job/career. 

  • 24% of 18-24 year olds think being overweight is the most embarrassing physical feature, in their opinion.

The research suggests that the selfie could actually be an empowering activity, helping young people to develop their identity and boost confidence and self-esteem, rather than simply an exercise in narcissism.

But, even though the majority of young respondents found it easy to pick out their best assets, nearly a quarter of those aged 18-24 admit they do not have a favourite part of their body. 

In an age group where health and appearance are high priority and obesity is classed as the most embarrassing physical feature, it is no surprise a surge of selfie hybrids – including the ‘belfie’ and gym selfie – are on the rise, endorsed by this particular age group and a wave of young celebrities. 

Interestingly, the study also found that 29 is the age when people really feel at their most body-confident, and it seems 25–34 year olds love their bodies the most; they spend the most on healthy foods to look and feel good, at about £63 a month. 

Steven Taylor from Transform Cosmetic Surgery commented: ‘It is interesting, but not surprising, to see that looks and image are very important to young people. We’re not sure whether this has always been the case or if it has, in recent times, been heavily influenced by the onset and proliferation of social media profiles and platforms.’ 

Transform has also created an infographic showing how Brits really feel about their bodies in 2015, which can be viewed here.


What do you think? Is the selfie a useful tool for today’s young adults to boost their confidence, or is it symptomatic of the opposite, reflecting a growing problem with self-esteem and body image among this particular generation? Comment below and let us know your thoughts…


Image: Susanne NIlsson, Flickr

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