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Stars like Cheryl, Kate and Holly have body we admire the most

Irish women compare their own bodies to beautiful women they see on television like singer Cheryl Fernandez-Versini.

Nearly 40pc of Irish women have revealed that television influences their perception of their own personal body image, showing just how powerful the medium is.

And a similar number of women reported being heavily influenced by their own peer group and friends when it came to how they perceived themselves, according to the Herald poll.

Nearly a third of women mentioned print media, including newspapers and magazines, as being an influence when polled as part of the Millward Brown survey of 1,000 women aged between 18 and 54, which was commissioned by the Herald.

Advertising (27pc), film (23pc) and the internet (22pc) also featured strongly in the survey.

Women were not limited to just one answer when asked what influenced their perception of their own personal body image.

Many women said people who they knew well, such as their partner (18pc), their mother (17pc) and other family members (16pc).

But X-Factor judge Cheryl Fernandez-Versini (31) has the body that many women would love to have, according to the survey.

The respondents were asked to judge which celebrities they thought had the "ideal body shape", and petite Cheryl garnered the highest number of votes at 14pc.

But the svelte X Factor judge was closely followed in the poll by curvy English TV presenter Holly Willoughby (33) who came in second place with 11pc of the votes. Holly recently gave birth to her third child, Chester. Meanwhile, one in 10 Irish women think that blonde beauty Jennifer Lawrence (24) - who's dating Coldplay's Chris Martin - has an ideal body.

Actress Kate Winslet was selected by 8pc of women, while another 39-year-old actress Charlize Theron was also picked by 8pc of the respondents' votes.

Psychologist Allison Keating of the Bwell Clinic in Malahide said that what women often focus on appearance rather than strength when it comes to body image.

"Rather than just looking at our body just in terms of an aesthetic, how we actually look, in terms of valuing ourselves, we don't necessarily value what our bodies actually do for us," she told the Herald.


"I would see that women and their body image is incredibly negative, and I feel it's down to a judgement of how a body actually looks," she added.

"Obviously with a good diet and lifestyle choices, you can look well and happy, but that doesn't seem to be the impetus. It seems to be more driven by looking very slim."

Also featuring on the list of coveted bodies for Irish women was Lost in Translation star Scarlett Johansson (29) who picked up 8pc of the vote. Model and television pin-up Kelly Brook (34), famous for her curves was picked by 7pc.

However, no one could accuse Irish women of being ageist, as 4pc picked 69-year-old Oscar winner Helen Mirren as having the ideal body shape.

Glamorous RTE presenter Grainne Seoige (40) got 3pc of the vote alongside designer and model Dita Von Teese (42) who was picked by 3pc of respondents.