UK women are wasting an estimated quarter of a billion pounds on swimwear which they never actually use, according to new research.
More than one in 10 (11%) women admit they have been so scared at the prospect of wearing a bikini that they have not gone on holiday at all.
On average, £285m is spent on new swimsuits every summer, yet 45% are never worn.
The survey, carried out by Tesco, also claims that 28% of women feel that wearing a swimsuit is what they dread most about their holiday.
Catherine Matthews, who is the head of nutrition at www.tescodiets.com, said: “It's a shame that, for so many women, poor body image seems to be getting in the way of enjoying a holiday.”
The poll of 3,000 people also revealed that a number of women deploy tactics to avoid exposing their body.
Almost a third (30%) resort to wearing a T-shirt over their swimwear, while 12% avoid the beach or pool altogether.
However, one woman who isn’t afraid to step out in a bikini is Miss Ireland, Diana Donnelly, pictured left posing during a swimsuit event in Freeport, Grand Bahama island, this week.
Contestants from no less than 84 countries will compete for the coveted crown of Miss Universe 2009 on August 23.