By DAILY MAIL REPORTER
Older women are turning their backs on advertising telling them to look younger, according to research.
They want to look good – not good for their age or younger than they are, claims a study of women aged 60 and over.
Dr Carolyn Mair, of the London College of Fashion, asked 21 women about skin ageing, how they felt about it and which products they used.
Many had sophisticated skin care regimes, spending large amounts on cosmetics, and most said they used sunscreen.
But when asked if they wanted to look good, look good for their age or look younger, four out of five chose simply ‘look good’ – suggesting they were happy to look their age.
Dr Mair said the women were generally content with their appearance, adding: ‘We’re always being told older women are suffering from a crisis of self-confidence.
‘But the research shows they don’t want to be the target of "age-defying” and “youth-promoting” messages.’
She told the British Psychological Society conference in Birmingham: ‘Despite media and advertising images of unattainable, airbrushed beauty and messages equating youth with beauty, the majority said they wanted to look good, not younger.’
It comes after a study last year found that size 16 women were the happiest and most comfortable in their own skin.
It found 74 per cent women at that size were happy with their appearance - in comparison to only 42 per cent were happy at size six.
And earlier this year, a survey suggested that men are healthier and happier about their appearance than women in general.
The nationwide study of 2,000 people found men reported a higher rate of happiness when it came to their weight, shape, appearance, and the way they are perceived by others.
Dr Mair, whose speech was titled ‘Women over sixty want to look good, not good for their age, young or younger’, is a chartered psychologist and a specialist in the application of theories from cognitive psychology, to improve performance and enhance well-being.
'Research shows older women don’t want to be the target of "age-defying” and “youth-promoting” messages'
Dr Carolyn Mair
Among the impressive roster of high-profile academics at the event was ex-BBC presenter Sian Williams, who switched careers to become a psychologist.
The former BBC1 Breakfast show host quit her role in 2012 and is now studying for a masters degree in psychology at the University of Westminster.
The 49-year-old is specialising in the effects of post-traumatic stress disorder on war journalists.