Older Americans find more confidence in their looks

Tuesday , August 05, 2014 - 12:00 AM

Standard-Examiner staff

WASHINGTON D.C. ─ Senior citizens are more satisfied with their physical appearance, according to findings of a nationwide poll.

Research conducted by Gallup, an analytics and research company based in D.C., found that 66 percent of Americans aged 65 and older are more likely to agree that they always feel good about their physical appearance. 

These findings were published recently after more than 80,000 adults were interviewed by Gallup via telephone nationwide. Respondents were asked to evaluate their level of agreement with the statement, “I always feel good about my physical appearance,” creating the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index.

The index shows that men across every age group are more likely than women to feel good about their appearance; 69 percent of middle-aged men answered favorably, compared to 57 percent of women in the same age group. Regardless of gender, middle-aged Americans are the least likely to report feeling good about their physical appearance, at 54 percent.  

“Additionally, as people age, perhaps a different set of societal expectations and appearance standards lead to a renewed sense of confidence,” stated Gallup on their website. “In an image-conscious society where beautiful men and women flood the screens and pages of Americans' various mediums, it isn't surprising that many are left feeling inadequate.”

Adults associating themselves as black or Hispanic are more likely to respond positively about their physical appearance than those associated as white, the index suggests. Sixty-eight percent of blacks and 67 percent of Hispanics reported to always feel good about their appearance, compared to the 62 percent of Asians and 55 percent of those who were white. 

“...Only whites' confidence in their appearance drops sharply in middle age,” Gallup reports. “Blacks, Asians, and Hispanics all maintain their positive perspective on their physical appearance through middle age, and then become even more confident in their golden years.”

With these findings, Gallup stated that Americans’ feelings about their outward appearance drives many aspects of the U.S. economy including industries of clothing, cosmetics, hair care, weight control and cosmetic surgery. 

“However, older Americans' looks are generally out of sync with the youthful standard of beauty that prevails in American culture, and yet they are most happy with what they see in the mirror. Perhaps it will come as a relief to many who toil over minute details of their appearance that they could become happier with their looks in years to come.“

To read the complete results of this poll, visit www.gallup.com and click on the ”well-being“ tab.

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