A survey by Women’s Health has revealed that 46% of women feel more body confident than they did four years ago. After decades of advertising and celebrity culture telling us to slim down, squat more, tone up and fulfil an array of difficult body ideals, the last few years has seen a wave of body positivity and self love sweep the UK and US.
With movements like Eff Your Beauty Standards, This Girl Can and Self Love Brings Beauty providing a focus for the movement, women across the world are starting to celebrate their diversity and unique beauty when it comes to their bodies. From women who are Strong Not Skinny, to fat positivity and all-round body acceptance, better body image is not on the rise.
The rise of image-sharing social network Instagram may also have had an effect on body confidence, especially amongst the younger generation. Body positivity advocates, fitness gurus and plus size models alike have harnessed the reach of the channel to gain hundreds of thousands of followers and spread their positive, empowering message. Felicity Hayward, Megan Jayne Crabbe, Milly Smith and Sophie Lewis are all well worth a follow!
The survey results do suggest a few other reasons behind the rise in body confidence. 58% of the almost 2000 respondents claimed their body confidence was rooted in investments they’d made in their physical wellbeing, from yoga classes to Parkruns, weight lifting sessions to triathlons. But feeling empowered to get fit wasn’t the only body confidence booster. 65% claimed that they felt better about their body now compared to how they felt four years ago.
Whether that confidence over time is due to a cultural shift in how we view and feel about our bodies, or a result of age helping us to improve our self image, it’s a very positive statistic which should mean that many woman are feeling happier and more confident in their skin.
Do you think your body confidence has improved in the past four years? What do you think has helped you accept and love your body more? Have your say and share your stories with other readers below.