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A third of women more concerned with appearance than career prospects

5th March 2013 Print
Female worker

One in three single ladies are more concerned about their appearance than their career prospects, research has revealed. When asked to consider their priorities in life, 41% of girls aged 18 to 25 admit they spend more time thinking about what they look like than working their way up the career ladder.

Indeed, one in five women admits prospects, promotions and pay rises mean less to them than having perfect hair, clothes and make up.

And almost a quarter of women of this age would rather look like Frankie Sandford from The Saturdays than be as successful as Karren Brady.

A spokeswoman for John Frieda’s Precision Foam Colour, which conducted the study of 539 single girls, said: “It stands to reason that women of a young age will be more concerned about their looks, friendships and socialising than other more serious aspects.

“As a young woman appearance is incredibly important – from looking fantastic for a night on the town, to checking pictures on Facebook, it is the thing at the forefront of these girls minds.

“The other thing to consider is that for some girls, the prospect of owning a house, settling down, and paying into pensions are seemingly unachievable at present, so they’re things which are easy to forget about.”

The poll indicates 45% of young single ladies spend more on making sure they look good, rather than saving for the future.

But for one third of girls, looking amazing has nothing to do with bagging a boyfriend, as they’d prefer to look good for their mates than any man.

The study shows women prioritise great hair above finding a place to rent or learning to drive in their list of priorities.

Staying thin is more important for women than settling down and starting a family or buying a house.

And many girls are more worried about getting new outfits for nights out than starting a pension or experiencing the world.

The average girl in her early twenties spends £90 a month on looking good – splashing out most of her disposable income on hair-cuts, tans, clothes and shoes.

Indeed, one in three girls get their hair cut frequently, with one in 10 often topping up the tan and a fifth have their nails manicured regularly.

But when it comes to planning for the future, young women are burying their heads in the sand, with 58% preferring to think about the here and now instead.

For almost 44% of single ladies, having fun with friends is more important than making plans for secure and steady future.

A fifth of girls can’t ever imagine being in the position where they’ll be able to afford to buy a house, while two thirds would like to have a house, but can’t see it being in the near future.

The John Frieda spokeswoman continues: “The astonishing thing is how high looking good ranks in the top 20 list of young women’s priorities.

“It is incredible that girls would rather have beautiful coloured hair and the high street’s latest outfits than a pension in place, their own car, or their own house.

“But this is because when you are in your early twenties appearance is of huge importance – and before life gets too serious and stressful, why should it be any other way?”

Top priorities for single women aged 18 to 25

1. Going out with friends
2. Furthering my education
3. Spending time with the family
4. Looking good
5. Saving for the future
6. Moving up the career ladder
7. Getting a boyfriend
8. Staying thin
9. Going on holiday
10. Planning for the weekend
11. Having great hair
12. Renting your own place
13. Learning to drive
14. Being able to buy a house
15. Talking on Facebook
16. Being able to afford a nice car
17. Settling down and starting a family
18. Getting a new outfit every time you go out
19. Starting a pension
20. Experiencing the World

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Female worker