We should be teaching young people to be unique rather than perfect, a leading psychologist has claimed.
The comments come after new research revealed Brits spend an hour and 40 minutes of every day striving for perfection, with three-quarters dreaming of having the perfect life, dedicating an average of 12 hours a week to trying to improve their looks, career or love life.
This amounts to the equivalent of almost 26 days a year or four-and-a-half years of their lives spent photo-shopping selfies, cleaning the house before guests arrive and applying miracle creams.
And 45 per cent admitted to making their lives, or parts of it, appear more perfect than it really is.
Despite this, the poll by bagel makers New York Bakery Co. found three quarters of people wish there was less emphasis on being perfect and more importance placed on being real and authentic.
And seven in 10 believe too much effort is put in to achieving perfection these days, with six in 10 admitting they don’t think they will ever have the perfect life they are striving for.
Psychologist Emma Kenny said: “During the past twenty years a dangerous myth has been growing.
“It is one that confronts us every time we turn on the television, flick through a magazine or scroll through our social media.
“We exist in a world awash with perfection. Everyday, Instagram is crammed with photo-shopped images of men and women who look more mannequin than human.
“More and more young people are starting to buy into the idea that perfection is everything.
“It is vital that we learn to turn the volume down, but this can only happen when we start balancing our exposure to these images of perfection with a more realistic and ultimately fun perspective of life.
“We need to teach the younger generation to be unique, care less about how other people are living their lives and concentrate more on how they live their own.”