A question of body image part 2: Statistics in women’s confidence UK 2014

After looking at the previous data set which shows the rise in women undergoing plastic surgery, we can move onto looking at rates in body confidence amongst women across different age groups.

In 2014 the Be Real campaign was launched in the UK in order to empower men and women to feel confident about themselves and their appearances. The campaign was launched in response to the Reflections on Body Image report from the All Party Parliamentary Group for Body Image; Be Real was co-ordinated by YMCA in partnership with Dove and is sponsored by big organisations such as Facebook, New Look, Government Equalities Office and Superdrug.

After surveying thousands of women of all ages and backgrounds across the UK, the people behind the Be Real campaign were able to produce an in-depth case study which showed levels in women’s confidence.

The data visualisation bellow shows that women aged 50+ felt over all less body confident than women aged 18-49 years old. According to the data, 25% of women over 50 felt as though they were ‘Not at all confident’ about their bodies; whereas 21% of women aged 18-49 ticked this box.

What the data also shows it that, sadly, only 5% of women from each age group felt ‘Very Confident’ with their bodies; however 39% of 18-49 year-olds and 31% of over 50’s felt that they were ‘Fairly Confident’. Although this is good news, it is also quite saddening that old women don’t feel as body confident as women who are younger.

Rates of women’s Body Confidence 2014:

(Data Source: Be Real Campaign)

Along with this data we should also consider the previous data which showed the rise in rates of women undergoing plastic surgery. It is possible to see a link between body image, confidence and cosmetic procedures- whether it is plastic surgery or wearing make-up.

The data visualisation bellow shows which things make women most self confident. Women of ages 18-49 and also 50+ were asked what made them most confident; these are the top 11 things which make women feel confident.
In order:

1. Being complemented
2. Getting my hair cut
3. Wearing a new outfit
4. Getting ym hair coloured/highlighted
5. Exercise
6. Wearing bright colours
7. Having my nails done
8. Pampering myself
9. Sex/intimacy
10. Wearing high heels
11. Promotion at work

More women aged 50+ felt most confident when getting their hair cut (40%) and being complimented (50%) in comparison to younger women. Women from the younger age groups felt most self confident when wearing a new outfit (45%) or exercising (47%). It is certain that women from both ages groups feel most confident when they are doing something which will, in some way, improve their image.

A shocking rate of just 3% of women 50+ and 10% of women aged 18-49 felt most self confident when receiving a promotion at work at, presumable, building careers! Receiving a promotion at work was over taken by all the other activities on the list, all of which are in some way cosmetic or image altering. Sex and intimacy also made women feel more self confident than gaining a promotion; it’s possible to conclude that being wanted physically, and being considered sexually attractive gave these women a higher self confidence. The most shocking information that we can take from this chart is that women gain more confidence from looking good than gaining recognition in their careers.

It is clear that there has been a definite rise in women having plastic surgery and we have also seen, from the data used in this part, that women feel most confident in themselves and with their bodies when they look good.

What makes women most confident 2014:

(Data Source: Be Real Campaign)