Does she look fat to you? 95% of young women want to change their bodies in some way; 33% wish they were thinner. Photo: Corbis


The Independent just published results from a report by Girlguiding UK which found that an astounding 95% of women between the ages 16 and 21 want to change their bodies in some way.

Of women in this age group, being thinner was the chief complaint among 33% of them, while 25% said that using cosmetic surgery to get their desired body was not out of the question.

In order to get these statistics, Girlguiding UK, an organization similar to the Girls Scouts of America, surveyed 1,109 girls from 7 to 21-years-old on topics including eating disorders, plastic surgery and body image.

Luckily, weight loss wasn't a big concern for the seven to nine-year-old group (um, that would have been really disturbing), with only 5% of them reporting that they wanted to slim down.

But the percentage steadily rose to 12% in 10 and 11-year-olds, and to 27% among 11 to 16-year-olds (12% of the latter group would even consider gastric surgery to loose weight and 5% think a little Botox might help them above the neck).

Perhaps, naturally, the majority of 7 to 11-years-olds (72% to be exact) swapped weight concerns with fantasies of changing their teeth.


This research comes on the heels of a push in the UK and France for advertisements portraying perfect-looking models to have clear labeling stating that the images have been airbrushed and retouched.

The movement in the UK is lead by Jo Swinson, a Liberal Democrat in the Parliament, who talked to The Independent upon hearing the Girlguiding UK results.

"This report highlights the worrying number of teenage girls who are going on extreme diets or even considering cosmetic surgery because they're unhappy with the way they look," she told the paper.

Swinson went on to explain her theory that unrealistic advertisements are propelling girls' dissatisfaction with their own bodies.

"Girls shouldn't constantly feel the need to measure up to a very narrow range of digitally manipulated images," she said. "Airbrushing means that adverts now contain completely unattainable images that no-one can live up to in real life."

So, are pictures of super-skinny airbrushed models to blame for these results or is being dissatisfied with your looks and body a natural part of growing up?

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And the issue isn't limited to women in their twenties and younger. See which former supermodel struggled with body insecurities as an adult.