Kiwis feel younger than they look

By Martha McKenzie-Minifie

New Zealanders are staying younger longer - or at least that's what they think.

An ACNielsen survey has found that more than half of us regard the 30s as the new 20s and 50 per cent considered 60s to be middle-aged.

Living at home with mum and dad at 29 was okay for one in two people and one in five would have cosmetic surgery to keep looking younger longer.

Under 25s were the most receptive to cosmetic surgery, with 37 per cent open to the idea.

Botox specialist Catherine Stone was not surprised by the findings.

Dr Stone, who first tried Botox in her late 20s, said people were becoming more image conscious and wanted to look younger as they aged.

The oldest client at Dr Stone's The Face Place was an 84-year-old man, but it also attracted people in their 20s.

"Probably the majority of my clients when I started five years ago would have been in their 40s. There is definitely a trend for people in their late 20s and 30s [now]."

The survey, conducted in 41 markets globally, was the largest internet survey of its kind and quizzed consumers about their attitudes towards age, cosmetic surgery as they get older and living in the parental home.

Kiwi women embraced the idea of turning back the clock more fervently than men. They were more likely to consider 30s as the new 20s, 40s as the new 30s, and 60s as the new middle age.

"Stereotypes are being broken," said ACNielsen customised research New Zealand executive director Susanna Baggaley. "Our perspective on what constitutes a 'young adult', 'old' or 'middle-aged' and the lifestyle and behaviour appropriate to each of these phases in our lives has changed."

She said the change could be down to people living longer than previous generations.

People also took longer to "grow up" because of the trend to stay on longer in further education.

However, New Zealanders were less likely than Australians to believe living at home in their ate 20s was okay. Half the Kiwis surveyed accepted the idea compared with 64 per cent of Australians. The internet survey polled around 23,000 people in 41 markets from Europe, Asia Pacific, North America and the Baltics.

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