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Half of British women dread baring their bikini belly at the beach

Half of British women dread baring their bikini belly at the beach, The summer is fast approaching but rather than looking forward to hitting the beach, British women are filled with dread about revealing their bikini bellies, according to new research.

Forty-five per cent of women polled by Nivea said they felt more anxious about wearing swimwear on the beach or at the pool each summer than then did about baring all in front of a new partner for the first time.

More than half of the women (54 per cent) said their tummy was an area of concern when they were wearing a bikini or swimsuit, while one fifth of respondents said 'everything' worried them.

Scared to bare: More than half of British women said they are dreading revealing their bikini bodies this summer

Seventy-nine per cent of the 18 to 60-year-old women questioned said they would use a sarong or similar garment to cover up their bodies while on the beach.

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The researchers found that women in their 20s were three times more likely to obsess over their breast size than those in their 50s while motherhood was a big factor in the women's body confidence.

Booby trap: Women in their twenties were found to be the most self-conscious about their breast size

In Scotland, 45 per cent of women said their confidence had disappeared after having children, compared to 21 per cent of Londoners.

But almost half of mothers said they cared less about their appearance after having children.

Half of women wish they had more self-confidence when wearing swimwear with one fifth saying they would feel more confident had they prepared a long way ahead to get into their bikini.

In contrast, the men questioned were typically twice as confident about their bodies and looks then women.

Of the 3,500 people quizzed, 47 per cent said compliments from their partners gave them a self-esteem boost, while 37 per cent said smiles from strangers in the street did the trick.

But for women, it's the support of other females that provides the biggest lift with 81 per cent admitting a compliment from someone of the same gender meant the most to them. Half of those said encouraging words from their best friend or mother made the biggest difference.

'Our research has exposed just how worried some women can be about the looming prospect of revealing themselves in swimwear each summer,' said Neil George, marketing director for Nivea.

'Yet we have found that a simple compliment - from a friend or even a stranger - can have an enormously positive impact on how confident women feel.'

To try and alleviate their fears of revealing their bikini lodies, the researchers found that women put greater thought into their skincare regime as the summer approaches.

Lift: A compliment from another woman gave females the biggest confidence boost

More than a third (37 per cent) said their summer beauty routine typically begins around one month before they first reveal themselves publicly in a bikini or swimsuit.

For 68 per cent, sun cream becomes a must-have in their beauty bag with body moisturisers and razors coming close behind.

More than half said they spend more than £11 on one summer skin care product, with women in their 30s twice as likely as other age groups to spend more than £40 on one product.

Nivea is encouraging women to 'dare to dip' in a special outdoor pool in London’s Covent Garden on 11 May 2013 and providing free kits to get skin ready in the run up to the big event. Visit for more information

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