Study: Youth Obsession Waning?
With Boomers getting crotchety and the top end of the Millennials range reaching their mid-thirties, society’s obsession with youth is over, according to a global survey by Euro RSCG Worldwide.
According to a survey of 7,213 adults across 19 countries, just about three-quarters expressed the belief that society has grown much too youth obsessed. The opinion was shared not just by the older set but also by six in 10 Millennials (18-34). Only 23 percent of the sample said they plan to fight aging every step of the way, compared with the more than three-quarters (77 percent) who said they intend to age gracefully. Around two-thirds — including 75 percent of those aged 55+ — said they won’t just accept aging, but will actually "embrace it and all that comes with it."
Euro RSCG Worldwide noted that the findings come with people not only living longer, but modern lifestyle changes — including a tendency to stay in school longer, start careers later, and marry and procreate later — pushing back the onset of old age. According to the findings, today’s middle age doesn’t even begin until 48, with old age not starting until 71.
Among other findings:
- Nearly six in 10 respondents in the global sample (59 percent) say they feel younger than their age, and 55 percent believe they look younger than most of their peers;
- Fifty-nine percent of U.S. respondents agreed with the statement, "I still feel connected to youth; there’s no big difference in the things I like";
- Only 19 percent were even moderately worried about losing their looks;
- Just one in five have had or would consider surgical enhancements to look younger.
"The demographic shift the world is currently undergoing will have significant consequences for virtually every consumer-facing industry, as people come to grips with living for decades past their primes," said Marianne Hurstel, vice president, Euro RSCG’s BETC and global chief strategy officer, in a statement. "As marketers, we need to do what we can to ease these fears — and make sure people are aware of all the tools at their disposal to help them maintain their health, fitness, finances, and independence as long as possible."
- Global Study From Euro RSCG Worldwide Debunks Two Widespread Beliefs About Aging – Euro RSCG Worldwide/PRNewswire/MarketWatch
- Prosumer Report: Aging – Moving Beyond Youth Culture (white paper) – Euro RSCG Worldwide
Discussion Questions: To what degree do you agree that society’s youth obsession is waning? Can you come up with some obvious and less obvious ways retail and consumer brand marketing may have to change?