BETTER LATE THAN UGLY: Survey Shows Women Spend 2 weeks a Year on Their Appearance

Published on February 24, 2014

Women spend an average of 55 minutes every day working on their appearance. Let’s break that down a little further: That amounts to 335 hours every year — or an entire two-week vacation — lost to their looks, according to the TODAY/AOL Ideal to Real Body Image Survey released Monday.

There’s nothing wrong with caring about your appearance, of course. Part of caring for yourself is paying attention to the way you look. But there’s a difference between self-care and investing too much of your self -worth in your appearance, and it’s a tricky balance to stay on the right side of that line. Obsessing over your appearance is terribly unhealthy, potentially leading to mental health problems like anxiety, depression and disordered eating, decades of research has shown.

The survey found that 60 percent of adult women have negative thoughts about themselves weekly. That’s compared to 36 percent of men. Even more alarming: 78 percent of teen girls are plagued with this kind of self-criticism.

More than 2,000 adults plus 200 teenagers over age 16 participated in the TODAY/AOL body image survey, a nationally representative online study conducted last month. Find the methodology of the survey here. 

Read more: Today