Bridget Jones may have been the noughties favourite female but 2014’s twentysomethings would struggle to sympathise with duvet-hugging singleton Bridget Jones and her quest to land a man.
NIVEA campaign ‘Bring it On’ are celebrating the natural confidence and spirit that comes from feeling good in your own skin. They have surveyed more than 2,700 UK women aged between 18 and 30 to find out what makes them happy.
The research found that unlike Bridget, an overwhelming 94% of young women agree ‘you can be single and happy’. And while the majority still believe in marriage, 74% say ‘being me’ comes before being a ‘wife or girlfriend’, rejecting the concept of the shades-wearing WAG epitomised by Cheryl Cole and Colleen Rooney in the mid-noughties.
A positive 97% of women agree that ‘confidence comes from within’, while 91% say confidence comes from achievement. More than half think ‘women now are more confident than ever before’ while 55% believe women should ‘stop worrying about not being perfect.’
In the quest for greater individuality it seems even the ubiquitous selfie may be losing its appeal, with three out of four agreeing they’re ‘just about showing off’. 76% go as far as to say that ‘selfies are over’, preferring instead to point their cameras outwards at ‘someone or something else more interesting’.
However, that ‘someone’ might not necessarily be a celebrity. Modern celebrity culture in general received short shrift from those questioned, with 89% agreeing many celebs have ‘no discernible talent’ and 94% believing the worship of celebrity culture has ‘gone too far’.
91% think the media gives ‘too much airtime’ to celebrities, while 80% are fed up with ‘celebrities’ who attain a degree of fame, simply because of their famous partners. Only 4% of women questioned said fame was the ‘most important thing’ in life.
Women’s Coach of the Year Jenny Garrett, who helped analyse the research said: “Over the last couple of decades young women have been labelled via a male lens, but this current, confident generation don’t want to copy the boys or ride on their coat-tails. After the beer drinking ladettes and trophy WAGs of the nineties and noughties, the NIVEA study suggests we’re witnessing the success of a breed of young women that’s been emerging for some time - I call them Happenistas. They make things happen with their own individual style, without approval or support, they just say ‘bring it on’.”
When asked to nominate today’s inspiring under 30 female role models, sports stars proved more popular than reality TV stars. Jessica Ennis Hill captured 17% of the vote followed by gold medal winning Olympic boxer Nicola Adams (14%). Anti-knife campaigner and MBE Brooke Kinsella was the third most popular choice (12%) with singer/songwriter Emeli Sande in fourth place (10%). Ex-TOWIE star Amy Childs claimed fifth spot with 9%.
Rather than aspiring to a life on the TV screen, young women are turning to computer screens as they look to fast track their career. Almost a third believe that the traditional career ladder is ‘out of date’ with a huge majority greeting that ‘career success can come at any age.’ These women are instead taking advantage of a ‘career lift’ with 84% using social media to ‘get their ideas out there’ and 83% believing technology can ‘speed up professional success’.
Garrett explained: “Technology is the Happenista’s best friend, powering the career lift, rather than the rigid career ladder of the past. Female film makers go from You Tube to Soho or even Hollywood in just a few years. Beauty bloggers review make up ranges, and go on to design their own. This contraction of ‘career time served’ is of huge appeal to a generation brought up with the immediacy of a digital world, with bloggers and vloggers now just as likely to inspire young women as ‘traditional’ professionals.”
Commenting on the partnership NIVEA spokeswoman Natasha Abrams said: “This generation of Bring It On girls don’t need brands to tell them what to do or how to do it. Our role is simply to help them feel confident in their own skin, so they can get on with the things in life that are important to them, whether those things be creative, pioneering or simply fun."
Typical of the Happenista attitude is 29 year old British film director MJ Delaney, who collaborated with NIVEA to make a film to launch the summer long #Bringiton campaign. Celebrating the fearless attitude and confidence of young women who grab life and live it the way they want to, the film features girls seaside skinny dipping, cross country mountain biking and roller skating.