“People today really hate how they look!” says plastic surgery firm

How insecure are you about your looks? If the answer is ‘not very’: congratulations, you’re not the butt of this next Bad PR story. We’re specifically looking at you people for whom self esteem does not come easily, and for whom exploitation by a cynical industry might:

Insecure Britain: A quarter of us NEVER feel good about ourselves … and weight, parenting and bills are the biggest factors bringing us down 

In a disturbing glimpse of the country’s mood, it seems a quarter of Britons never feel good about themselves and are riddled by insecurities.

New research reveals that the country seriously lacks confidence with our appearance, our ability to parent, and basic tasks like paying bills correctly all causing us anxiety.

A survey of 2,033 respondents revealed that for over a quarter, facing themselves in the mirror ranked highest in terms of situations where confidence escaped them, with 33 per cent saying their body is the thing they would most like to change to improve their self-assurance.

Source: Daily Mail, 29th May 2013

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It’s a disturbing glimpse indeed – if true. However, if this transpires to be, say, a cosmetic surgery company touting for business by making the nation feel terrible about themselves – well, it’s less a disturbing glimpse, and more a cynical advertising ploy dressed as news.

Speaking of which, here’s an infographic and press release put out by Transform Cosmetic Surgery:

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It seems I’m not the only one who spotted the press release and infographic put out by Transform, with the more positive aspects of the release forming a wave of local and national coverage declaring various cities to be among the happiest in the country:

Top 10 happiest cities in the UK revealed

Sheffield residents have something to smile about after their city was crowned the happiest place to live in the UK.

A third of people from the city of steel said they feel good every single day of the week in a new happiness study by Transform Cosmetic Surgery Group (TCSG).

The Scottish capital of Edinburgh came a close second, followed by the Sussex seaside town of Brighton in third.

Source: Metro, 29th May 2013

It’s not so grim up North: Sheffield is the happiest city in Britain (and it’s all because they have more sex there) 

Sheffield has topped a list of Britain’s happiest cities – with a third of the population saying they wake up with a smile on their face every day.

Tellingly, those polled ranked sex highly on the list of factors that keep them feeling upbeat, along with doing good deeds for others, spending time with family and being given a compliment.

The South Yorkshire steel centre beat southern spots including London, Bristol and popular seaside resort Brighton to the number one position.

Source: Daily Mail, 31st May 2013

Of course, even the positive (and needlessly sex-referencing) stories need to carry the brand message, which is why tucked away in the Mail coverage is this necessarily negative nugget:

But the study also revealed a quarter of Britons never feel good about themselves. When asked to state the situation most likely to make them lose their confidence, over 25 per cent said looking at their own reflection.

Because, as we all know, it isn’t happiness and contentment which sends people to a cosmetic surgeon, and Transform don’t want to have wasted their money getting this non-story into the news without seeing a decent return on investment, even if that means painting an unhelpful and inaccurately-negative view of the world in the process.