The amount of time we spend getting ready is inversely correlated with our body positivity. (Photo: Instagram)
Whether your beauty routine includes a full highlight and contour or just running a comb through your hair, the way you perceive this part of your daily routine could make all the difference for your self-esteem. A new Yahoo Health commissioned Ipsos survey among 1,993 people aged 13 to 64 found that many of us have negative relationships with our morning grooming customs; the longer you spend getting ready, the more likely you are to feel badly about your appearance, and vice versa.
The average woman spends about 22 and a half minutes getting ready each morning. That’s about 137 hours in a year. According to the study, this means that her sense of self-confidence is probably body neutral or body negative. The study defines body negativity as, “I’m dissatisfied with how my body looks and I wish I could change certain aspects of my appearance,” and body neutrality as, “I am okay with the way my body looks I’ve made peace with my body shape/size/imperfections.” Body neutrality may not be such a bad state of mind, but body negativity is an unfortunate but unsurprising truth of our society. Whereas body positive women who feel, “I love the way my body looks and feel extremely confident about my appearance,” clocked in at an average time of 18.7 minutes. Interestingly, it is body ambivalent women, “I have a love/hate relationship with my body — some days I feel positive, some days I feel negative,” that spend the longest time getting ready in the morning at 26.1 minutes.
Among men, the correlation is even stronger, and the average amount of time men spend getting ready in the morning is 17 minutes, making the average man either body neutral or body ambivalent. Body negative men spend the longest time on grooming at an average of 23.3 minutes, followed by the body ambivalent at 20.8, body neutral at 15.7, and finally body positive at 15 minutes. Unlike women, body positivity among men perfectly descends as morning grooming time ascends, and grooming time is distinctly different between low confidence and high confidence men. The time span jumps by over five minutes between body neutral and body ambivalent men.
Chris Pratt knows when it’s time to kick up his heels and indulge in some quality me-time with a sheet mask. (Photo: Instagram)
It turns out those who suffer from Body Dysmorphic Disorder are very self-conscious and lack confidence because they are convinced they aren’t attractive. Some of the most common symptoms include obsessive and drawn out grooming habits, which really is an effort to mask their perceived flaws. Sufferers have tendencies to frequently examine themselves in the mirror, feel a need to grow a beard or wear excessive makeup, and worry that others are staring at their flaws, too. Of course, not everybody who feels body negative or body ambivalent has a disordered perception of themselves, but those who don’t feel good about the way they look likely develop similar tendencies in more minor forms, which could contribute to the amount of time it takes them to get ready in the morning.
It is interesting how different cultures have different ways to look at beauty prep. In Hispanic cultures, women often think of getting ready as a long, leisurely, feminine act, according to writer Alina Gonzales. She identifies this as her “absolute favorite lesson” from her Hispanic upbringing. “Hispanic people are notorious for ‘being late,’ which can basically be attributed to the meticulous and intentional beauty routines of Hispanic women,” she wrote. “We don’t rush getting ready, because getting ready is so much more than “something to do.” It’s fun, for ourselves personally, whether we’re doing it alone or with someone else like a friend, roommate, or family member.” If we could all adjust to a similar mindset, might we be less critical of ourselves during our morning routines?
Sofia Vergara says husband Joe Manganiello loves her high-maintenance look. (Photo: Instagram)
But since the correlation between body negativity and grooming time is stronger among men, shifting the mindset to one of leisurely femininity may not be so helpful for everybody. Still, a similar mindset can universally apply. Rather than thinking about all the things we could do with that extra time, why not think of getting ready as a confidence-boosting ritual, instead?
Body-Peace Resolution is Yahoo Health’s January initiative to motivate you to pursue wellness goals that are not vanity-driven, but that strive for more meaningful outcomes. We’re talking strength, mental fitness, self-acceptance — true and total body peace. Our big hope: This month of resolutions will inspire a body-peace revolution. Want to join us? Start by sharing your own body-positive moments on social media using the hashtag#bodypeaceresolution