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EDITIONS
Tuesday, 5 November, 2002, 01:00 GMT
Few women 'happy with their bodies'
Marilyn Monroe
Monroe was voted the most beautiful woman of all time
Only 3% of women in the UK are happy with their body, a new survey suggests.

Of 5,000 women questioned, 73% said they thought about their size or shape every day.

And six out of 10 women said their body image made them feel depressed.


Women increasingly want instant solutions to their weight and shape problems

REAL editor Sian Rees
Some 65% felt their life would improve considerably if they were happy with their body, in the image survey commissioned by the fortnightly women's magazine REAL.

A total of 91% of women were unhappy with their hips and thighs, 77% with their waist and 78% said they had cellulite.

The average age of the women who took part in the survey was 33.

Obsession

A total of 84% of those whose weight was considered normal for their proportion wished they were slimmer, by an average of nine pounds.

Some 68% blamed their body obsession and insecurities on other women who they said were most likely to criticise their shape and looks.

'Most beautiful women of all time'
1: Marilyn Monroe
2: Audrey Hepburn
3: Princess Diana
4: Grace Kelly
5: Sophia Loren
6: Catherine Zeta-Jones

Sian Rees, the magazine's editor, said: "A woman's body shape dominates her whole life - it's a modern day obsession.

"One of the driving forces is that women are increasingly influenced by celebrities - who let's face it don't live a normal life - and it can make a cruel comparison for real women trying to juggle work and family."

Fasting diets

The Female Body Survey found 67% of women said they would definitely or possibly have plastic surgery now or in the future to improve their bodies.

Catherine Zeta Jones
Women's body image is influenced by celebrities
Some 84% of women said they had dieted at some point while the average women had tried to diet at least seven times.

A quarter of women had tried to starve themselves by fasting, 40% had tried so-called faddy diets and 15% had taken laxatives.

Ms Rees said: "Women increasingly want instant solutions to their weight and shape problems.

"It is a worrying trend in a society that seems to put the priority of being slim and attractive above being fit and healthy."

The survey also found that 91% of the women surveyed were happy with their partner's looks.

The women were also asked about which celebrities they thought were the most attractive.

Sophia Loren was considered to be the most beautiful living woman in the world, Marilyn Monroe the most beautiful ever.

See also:

09 May 01 | Health
30 Apr 01 | Education
12 Feb 01 | Health
12 Oct 00 | Health
14 Jun 00 | Health
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