Women would rather lose weight than up intelligence

// 9 January 2006

19 out of 20 British women would prefer to have a smaller waistline than a higher IQ, according to a survey published by tescodiets.com.

From the Independent’s story:

From a wish list that included never having money worries again, dating the A-list star of their choice or a genius-level IQ score, 51 per cent of women still plumped for a slimmer figure, according to a survey for the website tescodiets.com…

One in three women admitted that they spend more time worrying about their weight than their finances, jobs or families. And while 29 per cent said their biggest dread was going to the dentist and 16 per cent cited looking for a new job, a massive 40 per cent admitted their worst fear was having to try on clothes in a shop’s communal fitting rooms.

One on three had lied to their friends about how much they weigh and one in four had tried to deceive their partner about their size.

I am hoping this result is simply an anomoly produced by Tesco asking all their “diet” subscribers (since when did the supermarket start selling diets, by the way?!). Or – even better – 19 out of 20 women are happy that they are smart already, and so place a very small importance on upping their IQ.

But if it’s not: women of Britain! I hate to be unsisterly, but pull your socks up – if you think dress size is more important than intelligence or financial security – well, you’re wrong. For those of you who opted for losing weight over “dating a celebrity” you could be right – I would gladly lose weight in order to avoid such a terrible fate as well.

In all seriousness, this is yet another indicator that we need to be taking action to address the way body image is conceived of in our society. Unfortunately, this is clearly a complex issue. In the same story the Independent quotes another survey for Ann Summers which found 87% of respondents believed society was unhealthily obsessed with body image.

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