'Positive Thinking’ has become the major buzzword for people looking to make changes to their lives by ‘re-programming’ their negative thoughts. But how well are women doing at accepting themselves as they are and learning to love themselves? Not that well according to a recent study in which one hundred women carried a clicker and measured how many times they felt anxious about their appearance.
Over a seven day period, women aged 35 to 69 had to use the clicker every time they had a negative thought about their face, body, hair or overall image. The average number of times a women thought badly about her appearance was 36 times a day.
The study was devised by keep-fit instructor Irene Estry and psychologist Emma Kenny for ITV’s Tonight programme which aired on 30th November 2009. Estry and Kenny wanted to explore the modern image-obsessed society and the knock-on ageism and pressure to stay youthful it creates.
One of the women in the experiment, Loose Women presenter Sherrie Hewson, 59, told the Daily Mail, “It brought to the fore how many women have issues.” Sherrie, who had a facelift ten years ago, clicked 1,400 times over seven days, experiencing a negative thought about herself approximately every three minutes.
"When I look in the mirror, my overriding thought is: "I don't know this person." I wake up to this face, and I feel as though it's someone else's. All I see in the mirror is age creeping up on me. The worst time for me in terms of clicking was the morning. Just getting up, I'd look in the mirror at my face and hair and think: "Oh dear, now that's a worry." I'd click as I put my make-up on, but the more make-up I applied the less I clicked, and by the time my "face" was complete I'd have stopped clicking."
Ironically, when a woman gets stressed over her appearance she is more likely to look older and her hair may become thinner. This is because stress makes a physical change to the hormone balance.
This can lead to a temporary hair loss condition called Telogen Effluvium or it can accelerate Female Pattern Hair Loss. This occurs when dihydrotestosterone (DHT) levels increase, making the hair follicles shrivel. Many women will begin to see signs in their 30s or 40s and the menopause often makes the thinning more noticeable. It is a permanent condition that may require treatment to prevent severe hair loss.
If you are concerned about thinning hair, contact the Belgravia Centre for a free consultation with a specialist. This will provide you with a clear diagnosis of the condition and give you the opportunity to ask questions about treatment. To book an appointment, call the friendly reception team on 020 7730 6666 or message the centre. If you are unable to visit the London-based centre, simply submit the online diagnostic form and a treatment advisor will get in touch with you.
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