There are a variety of self-help books and techniques that supposedly help people feel more confident about their appearance, but could it all be a matter of maturity?  A recent Gallup Well Being poll has revealed that more Americans aged 65 and older “agreed” or “strongly agreed” that they felt good about their physical appearance compared with any other age group over 18.

“One's concern about their appearance is clearly rooted in a combination of subjective and objective factors, and thus it differs according to a variety of demographic and cultural variances, including gender, age, and racial and ethnic background,” the Gallup research team said in a statement. “Additionally, as people age, perhaps a different set of societal expectations and appearance standards lead to a renewed sense of confidence. In an image-conscious society where beautiful men and women flood the screens and pages of Americans' various mediums, it isn't surprising that many are left feeling inadequate.”

Researchers working with the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index administered surveys to over 85,000 adults in the United States between Jan. 1 and June 23, 2014. Americans in the age brackets 18 to 34, 35 to 64, and 65 and over were asked to rate their level of agreement with the statement, "I always feel good about my physical appearance." The rating system was from one to five, one meaning “strongly disagree” and five meaning “strongly agree.” Among every age group included in the poll, men were more likely to agree with feeling good about their physical appearance than women.                 

Over half of Americans included in the poll (58 percent) agreed they feel good about their physical appearance by giving ratings of four and five. Around one out of five Americans (27 percent) neither agreed nor disagreed with the statement and 15 percent disagreed or strongly disagreed that they feel good about their appearance. Two-thirds of Americans aged 65 and older either agreed or strongly agreed that they always feel good about their physical appearance followed closely by 61 percent of Americans aged 18 to 34. A little over half of middle-aged Americans between 35 and 64 (54 percent) reported feeling good about their appearance.

“Americans' concern about their physical appearance fuels a huge component of the U.S. economy, extending across clothing, makeup, hair care, weight control, and cosmetic surgery industries,” the research team added. “This concern about physical appearance is not totally ill-founded, given that research studies show that attractive people fare better than those perceived as less attractive in many business and social situations.”