Women spend almost an entire month of the year worrying about their appearance, a study revealed yesterday.
A study of 2,000 women found concerns about their weight or curves, as well as occasions where they overindulged on food, mean females spend an average of 12 hours and four minutes a week worrying about how they look.
This equates to an astonishing 627 hours and 28 minutes of worrying across the course of one whole year.
The study, commissioned by Invista, owner of the Lycra Beauty fabric brand, found that much of this time is spent simply fretting over what to wear and then how the chosen outfit looks as the day progresses.
Other common concerns include being too fat, too thin, too bloated, having spotty skin, pale skin and frizzy hair.
Michele Duncan, for Lycra Beauty fabric, said: “It’s inevitable that women will have occasions where they aren’t feeling as confident about their appearance and worry about how they look.
“We all have those days where you wake up and feel bloated or just a little more aware of your wobbly bits than usual.
“But to think women are spending such a large amount of their time concerned about their appearance is surprising.
“Simple things such as choosing the right shapewear can go a long way to alleviating those body shape concerns leaving you to be able to get on with your day, worry-free.”
The study shows the average female spends 50 minutes a week deciding what to wear, and a further one hour and 32 minutes worrying if what they have chosen then looks okay.
Even underwear presents problems, with ladies taking up to 39 minutes a week to decide what lingerie looks best.
Being overweight is the biggest concern for women, as they fret for up to an hour and 46 minutes each week.
And girls spend a further one hour and 26 minutes frantically trying to cover up their wobbly bits, with eight in 10 women admitting they often have days where they just want to cover up problem areas regardless of what they see in the mirror.
But on the flip side, looking too thin also makes women feel anxious for a further 22 minutes.
Having a good complexion and skin colour is important to many girls, who agonise over spots, tan and tone for up to 2 hours and 22 minutes a week.
While waking with frizzy or greasy hair regularly worries a third of ladies – who then go on to feel uneasy about their hair for 57 minutes.
But it also emerged the average woman will have at least nine days a month where they have absolutely no confidence at all about their figure and appearance.
Researchers also found that when it comes to choosing an appropriate outfit for the day, 82 per cent of women admit their final choice will depend on how confident they are feeling about their appearance at the time.
And nine out of 10 girls always select an outfit which hides the parts of the body they most dislike or feel least confident about.
Michele Duncan added: “A large majority of problems for women worrying about their appearance and clothing can be easily alleviated just by choosing shapewear in a suitable fabric. Shapewear doesn’t have to be uncomfortable or unflattering.
“Shapewear with Lycra® Beauty fabric offers the benefits of functional shaping with comfort and ensures that there are a number of options for all body shapes and shaping needs.”
Attending a wedding requires the most thought on what to wear, closely followed by a party or a night out.
But for many women, events like lunch with friends, a new date or a party lead to weeks of stress, as they dread not being able to find a nice outfit to cover their lumps and bumps.
Although 48 per cent of ladies admit they probably spend far too much time worrying about their problem areas and appearance.
WOMEN’S WEEKLY WORRIES
What to wear – 50 minutes
Whether outfit / clothes then look okay – 1 hour and 32 minutes
Whether my wobbly bits are covered up – 1 hour and 26 minutes
What underwear to wear under an outfit – 39 minutes
Being overweight – 1 hour and 46 minutes
Being too thin – 22 minutes
Being bloated – 1 hour and 1 minute
Breasts are too large – 37 minutes
Breasts are too small – 32 minutes
Having spots – 56 minutes
Uneven skin tone – 50 minutes
Tan / lack of a tan – 36 minutes
Frizzy / greasy hair – 57 minutes
TOTAL TIME SPENT WORRYING EACH WEEK – 12 HOURS AND 4 MINUTES