Celebrities in the media take a toll on our body confidence

Many of us are very critical of our bodies

Many of us are very critical of our bodies

According to a new study by online health and wellbeing retailer NutrientWise, we're a nation in need of a good confidence boost.

The new research revealed that only 4% of us would admit to loving our bodies and one in ten (9%) would go as far as to say we hate them.

But what is it that's giving us such a body complex? The summer season is now in full swing and instead of feeling excited about pulling our bikinis and shorts from the back of the wardrobe, it fills many of us with dread. Our screens are constantly flooded with photos of celebrities in bikinis and skimpy outfits, so it's no surprise that of those who let their surroundings effect their body confidence, 84% said that celebrities in the media had the most negative impact. TV, websites, blogs and magazine articles are also having a negative effect.

And when is it that the lack of body confidence kicks into overdrive? Shopping, holidays and nights out are all supposed to be enjoyable activities, yet they're the times when we feel the most uncomfortable about our bodies. The study also revealed that as many as a third of us (35%) admit to feeling uncomfortable when shopping for new clothes, 29% when on holiday and 27% when on a night out.

Medical nutritionist and award-winning author, Dr Sarah Brewer, said: "It's worrying to see how many people actively hate their bodies. From my experience, many women are obsessed with their bodies being asymmetrical and what they look like without their clothes on. Some people seem obsessed with any perceived flaw, even if it's as small as a random bunch of freckles.

"Today's concerns don't necessarily come from body dysmorphia, it's more to do with how much images of models and celebrities are airbrushed to appear flawless in the media. They are just as blemished in real life as the rest of us, yet digitally corrected images can prompt a desire to look like the fake and unnatural."

The study did however prove that mums are always on hand for a confidence boost, as two thirds of both men (59%) and women (65%) turn to them for a bit of body loving. Of those who let people in their lives have an impact on how they feel about their bodies, three quarters (74%) said that loved ones have a positive impact and 70% said friends do too.

Interestingly, the results also found that a healthy and nutritious way of life that makes us feel more confident within ourselves. Fad diets are everywhere, but we need to forget these. Drinking lots of water (25%), wearing flattering clothes (25%) and having a healthy and nutritious diet (24%) make most people feel better.

Dr Sarah Brewer shared her quick tip to help us feel more confident: "It's important to have self-confidence and embrace your differences rather than worry about them. I suggest people write down ten things they love about themselves and take this piece of paper around in their handbag or wallet. These don't have to be solely physical things, some can be character traits such as "I'm loyal"; then, when you feel down, you just need to whip these out and have a read to remind yourself of all the factors that help you feel good."

Across the UK, it's residents in Cardiff that are the least body confident as 18% admit to hating their bodies. According to the research, the top ten UK towns and cities who hate their bodies are as follows:

  1. Cardiff (18%)
  2. Newcastle (15%)
  3. Manchester (12%)
  4. Birmingham (11%)
  5. Belfast (10%)
  6. Glasgow (10%)
  7. Sheffield (10%)
  8. Liverpool (9%)
  9. Leeds (8%)
  10. London (8%)

Eli Cohen, Founder of NutrientWise, added: "It's a shame to see that as a nation, a number of us feel so negatively about our bodies. Today there's such a focus on loving our bodies and for women to accept their curves, yet the survey also found that the favourite parts of our bodies are cheekbones, collarbones and ankles.

"Celebrities in the media are shown to have a huge impact on how confident we feel about our bodies, but it's great to see that we still choose the natural and healthy methods to help us feel more confident."