It isn't just those bad hair days or the ones where we can't fit into our skinny jeans. Researchers have found that the average woman spends nearly one month a year worrying about her appearance. Michele Duncan of Lycra Beauty, which commissioned the study of 2,000 women, said: ‘To think women are spending such a large amount of their time concerned about their appearance is surprising.’
Lycra Beauty found that the concerns women expressed ranged from weight, curves (or lack thereof), what to wear to parties and events, all of which added up to a grand total of 12 hours and 4 minutes a week of worrying...or 627 hours and 28 minutes through the year. The women in the survey also expressed concerns about being too fat, too thin, too bloated, uneven skin tone, pale skin, and frizzy hair. Michele Duncan also found that the average woman spends 50 minutes a week deciding what to wear and another hour and a half deciding whether its acceptable. Almost a half of all interviewed women agreed that too much time was being spent worrying about looks.
The findings by Lycra Beauty are certainly not shocking but they are rather eye opening. In such an image driven culture it is not unexpected for women to be concerned with their looks but the sheer volume of time devoted to "worrying" is. What would be interesting to know if why the women felt that they were worrying about their looks and appearance so much? Was it self motivated criticism, comparison to celebrities, workplace pressure. If it was possible to understand the reason behind such deep insecurities in women it would be possible to start reducing the sheer volume of hours devoted to worrying.
In the mean time there are ways to cut down on this. Start by laying out outfits for the whole week and take pictures of each outfit you create so that when you are having a hard time choosing what to wear you have a plethora of outfits already created that you enjoy. Start wearing less makeup. It seems counter intuitive but the less makeup you wear the less you have to worry about getting messed up or rubbing off. Research easy hairstyles for those days when your hair just isn't cooperating. And when you feel another round of self hatred coming on, do squats or a wall sit or jumping jacks. Then drink a glass of water.