Let me introduce this by saying this is one survey I am praying is tainted.

Researchers from the University of the West of England and U.K. eating disorder charity The Succeed Foundation is releasing the results of a survey the groups conducted with young women on body image and self-esteem. The study looked at the insecurities 320 women felt but used a different question to see how much the feelings weighed on them as well.

Researchers asked the women what they would give up to have and keep “the perfect body.”

Among the survey’s results:

16 percent of young women queried said they’d trade a year of life for their ideal body weight and shape.

10 percent were willing to trade two to five years of their lives.

2 percent were willing to trade up to 10 years of life away.

1 percent said they would give up 21 years of their life or more.

The sample of this group is a small one, so one can only hope that they are not reflective of women in general. The ironic thing is that the majority of the women in the study were not overweight. In fact, 78 percent of the women sampled were normal weight or even weighed in below average.

While giving up your life is an extreme measure, the survey showed many women were willing to give up part of their life for a body they loved.

“Eight percent would give up a promotion at work, and 6 percent would give up earning a degree with honors. Nine percent were willing to give up time with friends and partners, while 7 percent said they’d trade in time with their family. Another 7 percent said they would sacrifice health to reach their ideal weight.”

Source

It’s disturbing to imagine that someone would place so little value on the gift of life, that they’d bargain it away for a different shell. Really, that’s all our bodies are- shells that wrap around our souls.

But it does show how a disproportionate emphasis on body flaws can really make women make poor judgments on what they are worth.

What do you think of the study Clutchettes?  If the sample size was expanded would the proportion of women willing to shave off years from their life stay the same?  Share your thoughts!

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  • nelle

    This doesn’t surprise at all. In fact, I’m surprised the numbers aren’t higher. I’d bet a million that if the participants were in fact overweight/obese the numbers would be through the roof.
    A lot of overweight/obese women are not really living anyway. You cancel plans with friends and shut yourself away promising to do more “when I lose the weight.” Is that really living?
    There was a time when I distinctly remember thinking this same thing: I would trade 10 years of my life to have the “ideal body.” And in turn I would wait to live “until I lost the weight.”
    (I’ve since lost almost half of my body weight and live, live, live every day!)