What parts of the body are people most insecure about?
We all have parts of our bodies that make us a tad insecure. But do other factors play a role in our insecurities? Nearly 65 percent of women claim their insecurities stem from increasing pressures portrayed in advertising and other media. The standards for men can also seem impossibly high when you consider that men are expected to be thin but also have defined muscles.
To find out just how insecure people are about specific areas of their body, we asked 1,000 European and American men and women to click on a map of the body parts they were most troubled with. Continue reading to learn what we discovered.
Pointing Out Our Problem Areas
These heat maps illustrate the body parts respondents were the most insecure about. It’s evident both European and American men were heavily concerned with their face and head, particularly at the top and back of the head. This may be because male pattern baldness affects men all around the world. However, it’s not just men who can have this affliction. Given that women can be affected by female pattern baldness as well, European women were more insecure about the top and back of their head when compared to American women.
Both European and American men were insecure about their waist or pelvic areas (e.g., their penis size). However, American men were more insecure than their European counterparts, according to our research. All four groups showed insecurity when it came to the stomach and facial areas, and while men seemed to have little issue with their thighs, European and American women had a lot of concern regarding this part of the body.
Overall, the most body secure group was American men at 42 percent, followed by European men at 35 percent, American women at 30 percent, and European women at 23 percent. However, 35 percent of European women were somewhat secure about their bodies, while 47 percent of American women were insecure about their overall body image.
Some research even shows that British women have some of the lowest self-esteem of all. This aligns with the overall perception of low body confidence in women. To combat this, there has been a movement toward body positivity, particularly on social media.
Instead of our news feeds being bombarded with images of perfection, there has been a push for more realistic situations. This movement includes celebrities who are opting out of airbrushing and retouching in promotional materials in favour of more truthful and body-positive advertising.
Situational Insecurities in Europe
When it comes to showing off your body, there aren’t many places more frightening than the beach. European women’s major areas of body insecurity in this situation included the chest, thighs, hips, stomach, buttocks, and face.
European men were also insecure about their chest and stomach areas, but they were also a bit uncomfortable with their abdominal area as well as with their biceps and pelvic region. Another area of concern was the face and top of the head, as well as the deltoids, back, and calf area.
When asked about taking a family photo, European men and women seemed to be somewhat less insecure. The primary concerns for European men were the face, stomach, and chest. For European women, the thigh, face, and buttocks were areas of concern.
When interviewing for a job, European men and women were the most insecure about their face, stomach, and hands. Additionally, European men were more concerned with their chests, and women had concerns about their buttocks.
Additionally, going on a date made many people insecure about their bodies. For European men, the most concerning areas were the pelvis, chest, face, biceps, top of the head, buttocks, and deltoids. For European women, it was the face, chest, thighs, hands, and buttocks.
Selfies can also play a large role in our self-esteem. In particular, other people’s selfies may have a negative impact on our own body image. Seeing these carefully curated photos in our social feeds can wear on our confidence, even though these photos very seldom represent a true image of ourselves. That said, when taking a selfie, European men and women had some areas of concern – the face and chest were problem areas, but European men were additionally concerned with their stomach, biceps, hands, and feet.
Situational Insecurities in America
When it comes to taking selfies, American women were most concerned with their stomachs, hips, thighs, chest, and buttocks.
American and European men shared common insecurities when taking selfies regarding the muscular areas of the body including biceps, deltoids, the abdominal area, and calves. However, the two groups of men differed when it came to concern about the head and face, with European men being more concerned than American men with this area. Additionally, European men were more insecure about their pelvic region and thighs than their American counterparts.
There was an interesting difference between how men and women felt about their bodies at the beach: Men were more insecure at the beach about the areas that are ideally muscular according to popular trends, and women were more concerned with the areas that are often considered attractive on thin women.
When asked about taking a family photo, American men and women were both focused on the stomach, arms, and chest. Additional concerns for American men were the face, arms, top of the head, and biceps. For American women, the buttocks were also an area of concern.
When interviewing for a job, American men and women were the most insecure about their face, stomach, and hands. Additionally, American men were more concerned with the top of the head, and women had concerns about the backs of their arms and buttocks.
American men and women had the same areas of concern when going on a first date – the face, stomach, buttocks, and chest. Additionally, American men were also concerned with their pelvic area, and women were insecure about their thighs.
Under a Microscope, Then Under the Knife
Surgically altering your body because of insecurity can be a drastic measure, and it usually requires a significant amount of consideration to get to that point. We asked respondents which areas of their bodies they considered surgically changing.
While sharing many of the same overall body insecurities, American and European women had differing opinions about what they would surgically enhance. Overall, more American women than European women considered getting plastic surgery, as shown in the larger masses on American women’s heat map. This may have to do with the fact that the U.S. leads the world in plastic surgery performed each year. The most popular areas for surgery were the chest, stomach, face, thighs, and buttocks.
When comparing American men to European men, both groups mainly concentrated on changing their face and stomachs; however, European men were more concerned with the top of the head and pelvic area.
Feel Secure in Your Own Body
When it comes to body insecurities, it’s clear that most people have them. And we tend to be much harder on ourselves than anyone else. At the end of the day, loving ourselves is an important key in feeling confident about our bodies. While specific insecurities may differ from men to women, and even from country to country, it can be difficult not to compare ourselves to other people. It’s important to remember that we need to stop striving for perfection, and instead focus on finding all the things that make us feel happy and fulfilled.
At Superdrug Online Doctor, we want to help you take care of your body and feel good inside and out. That’s why we provide treatment for a range of conditions, including contraception and sexual health. Visit us to learn more.
We surveyed 1,000 European and American men and women about which parts of their bodies they were most insecure about. Using a map of the body, we asked respondents to click on parts that caused the most concern in different situations. We used click trails to determine the body people clicked on most, using colour to denote density, and segmented our maps by demographics.
Fair Use Statement
Do your insecurities (or lack thereof) align with our research? We welcome sharing this project for noncommercial purposes only. However, please link back, so those who worked on this idea can receive proper credit. For any questions regarding this project, please email us at [email protected].