26 July 2011

Body Image Keeps 1/5th Of Britons From Holidaying

Do you need an excuse to holiday? Apparently, 7 out of 10 British people are finding excuses NOT to take annual vacations, according to Swiss International Airlines. In the wake of a long and unpleasant recession, many are still living on not-quite-enough to have a holiday abroad this year. Of those who won't travel abroad this year, 24% will stay at home because of a financial burden either perceived or real. The British have several other reasons for avoiding a vacation abroad this year.

The British have never had a particularly well-formed body image. Taking criticism of their appearance to heart, the British have always been subject to a stereotype of being slightly malformed and of having terrible dental hygiene. Not that every British person is especially bothered by these stereotypes. One image of British tourism is the hairy larger lout on the beach, soaking up the sun and flaunting his beer gut on Holidays to Barbados. But a number of British holidaymakers are deciding that they're too body conscious to turn up in other lands. A significant 21% of those who won't go abroad this year are blaming the fact that they 'don't feel slim enough'. Some of this may not be body image: travel abroad, especially on short-haul flights, is seldom comfortable for the overweight. But surely a greater number of these are the self-concious, those who believe that there is such a thing as a 'beach body standard', which is troubling to say the least.

Funnily enough, this is a piece of market research that is being plastered over the gossip mags. The circle here is rather vicious. All Inclusive Holidays to the Dominican Republic seem appealing because we see celebrities sunning themselves. But any image of a stunning destination that features a stunning celebrity is a mesh screen of personal expectation. Bikini weather is great for a very minor section of the population who meet social expectations. Not even the celebrities are safe: they're snapped on Holidays in Sri Lanka and then they have every aspect of their appearance scrutinised, or even bitchily taunted. But here's a thing. Why is this even an issue for all holidays? Can't people just go to destination without a beach if they're going to let ridiculous standards of beauty get in the way of their fun?. My top tip?. Under all those layers, nobody is going to see whether you have a perfect bum or not.

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