SEATTLE, March 25, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- A study of women 18-64 found that trends in body satisfaction vary greatly across age, race and ethnicity in the US.
More African American (17%) and Asian (18%) women are currently happy with their bodies than the general population overall (13%). Among the general population, younger women (18-24) are also less likely to be happy with their bodies than older demographics (45-64).
**GRAPHIC — Body Confidence By The Numbers: www.realself.com/bodyconfidence**
RealSelf — the leading online community around elective cosmetic procedures — released the second phase of findings from their study exploring the market of US women seeking cosmetic help beyond the beauty counter today. Conducted by a market research firm, the first phase revealed that one in five US women is pursuing or planning to pursue cosmetic surgery.
Body Satisfaction by Race & Ethnicity
Women in the general population — comprised largely of Caucasians — have the broadest discontent overall, with 87% of all US women unhappy with at least one area of their bodies. Women across all ethnicities are most likely to currently be unhappy with their midsection.
African American women are more likely to be satisfied with aspects of their faces (nose, eyes, lips, and cheeks) than are other ethnicities, while Hispanic women are much less likely to be happy with aspects of their faces versus non-Hispanics. Asian women are most likely to be unhappy with their eyes (20%).
Overall, one-third of women in the United States are willing to go as far as surgery to change the appearance of a body part. Hispanic women are most likely to consider surgery (39%), compared to 23% of Asian women, who are the least likely to consider visiting a cosmetic surgeon.
Women across all ethnicities and races are most likely to visit a plastic surgeon for changes to their chest/breasts (18%), followed by changing the appearance of their midsection/abdomen (14%).
Body Satisfaction by Age
The study found that younger women are more likely to be unsatisfied with their appearance than women 45 and older, and that women become happier with their bodies as they age. More than 90% of women 18-24 (11.8 million) are currently unhappy with at least one area of their body, compared to 85% of 45-64 year olds.
Mirroring the trend spanning race/ethnicity, women of all age groups are most likely to be unhappy with their midsection — with 65% reporting the abdomen and back as problem areas. Younger women (18-24) are most likely to be unhappy with facial aspects (including lips, chin, and nose) than any other age group. Women 45-64 are most likely to be unhappy with their neck (29% among the 45-54 set, and 35% among the 55-64 set).
Willingness to go as far as plastic surgery is strongest among the younger age group and peaks between the ages of 25 and 44, with 40% of those groups (16.2 million) reporting that they are willing to consider surgery. Future interest in pursuing help to change the appearance of a body part drops dramatically at age 44, with the exception of changes to the neck.
Milestones Motivating Work
About one in three women who have undergone at least one cosmetic treatment were motivated to pursue work due to a major life milestone. This is dominated by birthdays — especially among the older demographics. Childbirth, graduation, and weddings are top cited milestones among the younger demographic.
Women in the general population (29%) and African American women (34%) are more likely to be motivated by life milestones than are Asian (19%) and/or Hispanic women (24%). Among Asian women who are motivated by milestones, weddings (24%) and vacations (20%) take top spots, following birthdays.
Since its founding in 2006, RealSelf has created the world's largest community for learning and sharing information about cosmetic surgery, dermatology, dentistry, and other elective treatments. Our extensive collections of reviews, photos, videos and doctor Q&A make RealSelf the most trusted resource for those who are looking for help beyond the beauty counter. www.realself.com
This study was conducted via online quantitative survey from November 24 to December 2, 2014. Overall market sizing data included surveying a total of 5,053 women age 18-64 in the U.S. This sample included 2,140 nationally representative women, as well as sub-samples for African Americans (n=1,070), Asian (n=969) and Hispanics (n=874). All sample groups were reflective of national distributions for age (as provided by U.S. Census Bureau data) within their respective race/ethnicity. Within these sample frames, the error due to sampling for results ranges from +/-2.1% to +/-3.3%.
The study also included interviewing a subset of women in the U.S. age 18-64 that are willing to go beyond the retail counter to change the appearance of a body part. This component of the study included surveying a total of 2,200 women. This sample included 1,000 nationally representative women, as well as sub-samples of n=400 for each of African Americans, Asian and Hispanics. Within these sample frames, the error due to sampling for results was +/-3.1% among the national representation (n=1,000) and +/-4.9% among the race/ethnicity subsets (n=400)
Research was conducted on behalf of RealSelf by Zeitgeist Research. Respondents were contacted via online panel sample from Survey Sampling International (SSI).