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Ulster not so vain, according to UK photograph survey

By Lesley-Anne Henry

Published 27/11/2007

Ulster is the least vain region in the UK, a new survey out today has revealed.

The province is ranked last (11th) in a vanity league commissioned by Canon UK to establish who does and who does not digitally enhance their photographs.

Londoners top the poll with more than a quarter admitting to regularly re-touching images to improve how they look. The Midlands, Yorkshire and Scotland follow.

The popularity of social networking sites, such as Facebook, MySpace and Bebo (78% of total UK online population is part of a social networking site), and photo-sharing sites, such as Flickr, increase the pressure for people to look good in every picture with previously private photos now being displayed to a public audience.

In Ulster one-in-10 people think they will appear in more than 15,000 photos in their lifetime.

And despite 87% of people thinking they are not photogenic, only 3% people have re-touched a photo to make themselves look better - making it the least vain region of the UK.

One of the few Ulstermen to see his image digitally enhanced was Eamonn Holmes. Last year, a US television show re-touched the popular presenter's face for publicity shots, darkening his greying locks, removing bags from under his eyes and smoothing his brow for the image-conscious American audience.

However, the survey did reveal that almost half (47%) of Ulster people hold in their stomach while being photographed, compared to the UK average of 52%.

Nearly one quarter of people put their head back to avoid a double chin, one-in-10 stand next to someone who is less attractive and more than 10% look to the side so the camera captures their best angle.

"While we love taking photographs and enjoy looking at the memories that we capture on camera, we still want to look our best when we are in the picture," said Canon UK's Alessandro Stanzani, head of consumer imaging.

Belfast Telegraph

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