Word on the street is that a woman’s body confidence improves with age. Well, there seems to be some truth to this statement as a recent report across 25 countries confirmed that 61% of over 55s are happy with their body shape, compared to just 55% of young people. So why are young people feeling down about their bodies? With swimsuit season in full swing, island holidays calling, and our social feeds packed with #bikiniselfies and #hotdoglegs, isn’t it time to seize the moment, make some memories and stress less about muffin tops? 

Body and the Beach


The Low-Down on Body Confidence 

As summer sizzles on and temperatures rise, body confidence is at an all-time low, with a shocking 74% of British women feeling uncomfortable about seeing their bodies in the mirror. Now that’s scary! And now that bikini season is here, what does this mean for image-conscious women?

Being conscious about our looks is nothing new. A global report revealed that over half (54%) of all girls around the world lack high body esteem. And compared to other countries, we Brits are among the lowest in the world when it comes to body confidence, weighing in at just 20% against more self-assured South Africans at 64%.


Body Versus Bank Account

What’s more shocking is that young people perceive beauty as more important than their careers. Two-thirds would take a 20% pay cut for a better body, seeing a financial step-back as a fair trade for a flatter stomach, smaller waist, larger breasts or a thigh gap (in that order)! What’s more, a survey shows that young women are seven times more likely to worry about body image (44%) than their career (6%).


Why Are We So Hard On Ourselves? 

Poor body image is a battle many of us choose to keep private, but thankfully this global issue that impacts women of every age (and an equal number of men) is being crushed the more we talk about it. 

Social Media Stress

Our carefully curated lives on social media aren’t helping. Around 70% of women aged 18 – 35 admit to editing their images before posting on social media, and research shows women are more likely to sink into a negative body image slump after viewing perfect images of their friends rather than Photoshopped snaps of celebs and models. Around 52% of women have unfollowed someone on social media to avoid comparing themselves. 

Fortunately, positive stories are growing across social platforms as the focus shifts to diversity and self-love rather than perfection. Great examples of these body positive movements are hashtags like #flawsome and #BodyPositivity, which are doing the rounds on social media. 


We live in the age of personal branding, with the added pressure of looking good all the time. In fact, over 1 million selfies are taken each day! Around 69% of women believe appearance anxiety is being driven by increasing pressure in the media and the unrealistic standards of beauty across the globe. 

On the flip side, campaigns like #MyTrueSelfie encourage people to share their unaltered selfies surrounded by positive words to describe who they are, and the trend is growing.  

Girl Bosses

Women are earning more, and disposable income has risen to an average of £369 to splurge.  With women having higher purchasing power than ever before, more is being invested in self-image too. From clothes and accessories to beauty treatments and tanning, women are spending more on their appearance to feel more confident and further their careers. 

Luckily, along with the rise of woman power, we’re also starting to celebrate each other more. A heart-soaring 82% of girls around the world think that every girl has something about her that is beautiful. #Truth! In addition, 7 in 10 girls believe there is way too much importance placed on beauty as a source of happiness, while 8 in 10 girls say taking the time to do things that make them happy is a better way to feel more confident. 


Summer Body Love

British Body Positivity Gains Momentum 

We may have low confidence overall, but there are pockets of hope. With a whopping 75% confidence rate, Portsmouth is the UK’s most self-assured city, followed by Coventry with a 69% confidence rate, while Birmingham is third, with 65% saying they’re confident about their bodies overall. 
Around 31% of Brits say their stomach is their least favourite physical feature, while 7% say their breasts are their least favourite. But all is not lost. A massive 65% say they wouldn’t consider cosmetic surgery and would rather improve their confidence by other means, including styling their hair (36%), applying makeup (32%) or wearing flattering clothes (29%).  

Celebrating Our Assets 

Women are ditching the idea of the ultimate ‘beach body’ and choosing to embrace their favourite features instead. Although social media can cause appearance anxiety, platforms like Instagram have also become a force for good, with an army of powerful women embracing their flaws and encouraging us to do the same. 
Body confidence is something to aspire to, but if you're not feeling quite so hot, that’s ok as well:
Search for hashtags like #EffYourBeautyStandards, #DareToWear, #CelebrateMySize, and #GoldenConfidence for some inspiring women who are breaking the norm – you could do the same.
Focus on your favourite bits, embrace your least favourite bits and choose the right swimwear to highlight your assets to embrace beach season. 
Stuck on what to wear? View our stunning swimwear selection for a variety of cuts and styles.