Actress and environmentalist Robyn Malcolm has stripped for a nude photoshoot as part of the Next magazine’s celebration of the Kiwi female form. In a special feature for the March issue, she is also joined by actress Amanda Billing, and television presenter Sonia Gray in the feature that attempts to address the stereotypes of body image.
New Zealand women think about their weight several times a day – just as often as they think about their partner, sex, food and sleep. What’s worse, they believe good looking people tend to get more opportunities. Two out of three women believe that good-looking people are more likely to succeed.
According to the latest study by the Next magazine, Kiwi women don’t like their appearance, are obsessed with weight – and believe good looks and success are intrinsically linked.
The magazine spoke with more than 1500 women across age groups and backgrounds, and discovered that three out of four women are unhappy with their weight, with 43% keen to lose at least five kilos.
And it’s clearly a topic which is at the forefront of their minds, as 86% think about their weight daily.
Good looks lead to success
The survey found 89% of women believe the way they look and present themselves is very important to succeeding in life, and 79% are of the opinion good looking people tend to get more opportunities. Two out of three women believe that good-looking people are more likely to succeed.
Next editor Sarah Henry has been surprised at the findings: “We always knew appearance was important to women, but we underestimated just how much impact body image has.
If women are happy with what they see in the mirror they generally have a positive outlook. However, when they dislike their reflection, this feeling can manifest itself in all aspects of their life.”
According to Next’s research, size 10-12 is no longer the norm – as of those surveyed 49% are size 14 or bigger. Less than a third are a size 10 or smaller (28%).
Breasts are best
The part of their bodies Kiwi women most dislike is their tummies – with 65% saying this is what they like the least in their build. The part they like the most is their breasts – 37% said they are one of their best features.
Open to plastic surgery
While 63% of those Next surveyed would consider plastic surgery, it seems Kiwi women are not dieting. Speaking anonymously, 54% told Next they don’t diet but instead set themselves rules about what they eat – and 17% said they never diet.
“It’s great to see we’ve ditched the dieting in favour of making healthier eating choices, but the high link to the idea of plastic surgery suggests we have a long way to go before we’re in control of our body image,” says Sarah.