One in four Scottish millennials care more about their body image than career

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A new study has revealed that career aspirations are at the bottom rung of the ladder with young Scots, with two thirds happy to take a pay-cut if it meant achieving the perfect body.

The study, which looked at psychological attitudes and beliefs of young people and their health and lifestyle choices, found that young adults were just as likely to be emotionally affected by putting on weight before a holiday as having a promotion overlooked at work.

The findings from holistic health website MakeYourSwitch.co.uk highlight a worrying trend in attitudes whereby concerns for physical attributes outweigh goals in the workplace and future progression.

Body gains over financial gains

The research revealed how Scottish millennials are prepared to prioritise body image over financial security, with two thirds confessing they would be prepared to take a 20% pay cut if it meant they could have a better body. Most disturbingly, millennials say they would take a 20% pay cut to achieve:

A thigh gap (27%)

A flat/toned stomach (42%)

A smaller waist (34%)

Larger breasts (27%)

Glamour over climbing the career ladder

However, while the older generation are far less likely to resort to extreme weight loss techniques, body image is the number one insecurity across all age groups and both genders in the country.

Young women are also seven times more likely to worry about weight/body image than their career (44% compared to 6%); and fourteen times more likely to worry about weight/body image than their personality (44% compared to 3%). Worryingly, even when at work, one in five millennials (17%) have even received comments about their weight from a colleague.

Emma Kenny, Psychologist and Director of MakeYourSwitch.co.uk said: “It’s very concerning that young people are attributing more importance to achieving the ‘perfect body’ in the short term while important long-term life goals that contribute to wider wellbeing and satisfaction are being sacrificed and overlooked.”

“The key to long-term happiness is not only accepting your skills and talents and striving for success but not putting pressure on yourself to achieve the damaging ideals portrayed by celebrities through social media.

“Clear focused goals across health, fitness, wellbeing, nutrition and future career goals will help raise self-esteem and ultimately offer long-term rewards.”