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Get Ready for Old Age: You'll Feel Really Hot

Illustration for article titled Get Ready for Old Age: Youll Feel Really Hot

According to a newly released poll from Gallup, men feel better about their looks than women feel about theirs at almost every age, minorities generally feel better about how they look than white people and middle-aged people feel the worst about how they look. Well!


After interviewing over 80,000 Americans 18 and older, Gallup found that Americans over the age of 64 and Americans under the age of 35 both felt roughly the same about their bodies:

Though many may pine for the physical appearance they had in their younger years, America's seniors are the most confident in their looks. Two-thirds (66%) of Americans aged 65 and older "agreed" or "strongly agreed" that they always feel good about their physical appearance, compared with 61% of 18- to 34-year-olds. Middle-aged Americans (54%) are the least likely to report feeling good about their appearance.

Illustration for article titled Get Ready for Old Age: Youll Feel Really Hot

These results as they pertain to middle-age, however, appear to be skewed by white respondents: Gallup notes that "only whites' confidence in their appearance drops sharply in middle age. Blacks, Asians, and Hispanics all maintain their positive perspective on their physical appearance through middle age, and then become even more confident in their golden years."

The researchers would only speculate as to why feelings about physical attractiveness might differ over time and among different ethnic and racial categories. They also noted that they didn't measure "the actual physical attractiveness of the respondents." Yes, that would have gone well.

Images via Vittorio Zunino Celotto/Getty and Gallup

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I wonder how much of it is still having the full bloom of your twenties in your head as a reference point. I admit, when I look in a mirror, I expect that I _should_ look the way I did at twenty-six, and so the little wrinkles around my eyes after I smile and the loss of volume in my cheeks bother me, even though I'm sure it's damn near imperceptible to everyone else.

Perhaps the further away your youth is in the rear view mirror, the less you use it as a mental reference point for how you're 'supposed to look.' Which seems like it would free you up to appreciate how you look now, at this moment.