WAGs are the UK's new female role models, survey finds
Updated: 2006-07-19 15:20

She spends more than $2900 a month on looking good and going out, believes she has a better sex life but less romance than her mother did at the same age and admires Victoria Beckham more than any other woman.

Welcome to the world of the average 20-something British female.

Rejecting the "have it all" mantra of previous generations, most young women between 21 and 25 appear to aspire to being a WAG (footballer's wife or girlfriend) rather than a powerbroking executive, according to a survey.

More than half still live with their parents, only a quarter believe a career is important and a third admit that they behave more like a child than an independent woman.

The survey by More magazine of 2000 women in their early 20s found that they were more concerned with femininity rather than feminism.

While earning an average of just over ?8,000 a year, respondents spent ?156 a month on clothes, beauty products and entertainment.

The average young British woman's wardrobe contains 151 items, including 25 pairs of shoes, eight handbags and four hats - but only 6 per cent wear everything they own.

Almost half - 46 per cent - have credit card debts and owe an average of ?380.

Top of the 10 most admired women came Beckham, followed by Kylie Minogue, Jennifer Aniston and the glamour model Jordan.

More editor Donna Armstrong said: "This generation of young women are having the time of their lives and 23 is the ultimate age.

"Most [six out of 10] want to be a Wag - shopping and partying with their mates and having a gorgeous, preferably rich, bloke on their arm.

"Victoria Beckham is the ultimate icon for today's young women; they admire her style and want her wardrobe.

"She's the woman who makes them think, 'if you want it, get it'."

But young women are also a mass of contradictions; 92 per cent say that celebrities are too thin but the super-slim Beckham was voted as having the second best female body.

Two thirds say they care about the environment, yet only 4 per cent would be willing to pay more tax to protect it.

Nine out of 10 say that the desire for cosmetic surgery is "spiralling out of control" but 40 per cent would go under the knife to have bigger breasts.

The only woman to make it on to the most admired list who is not an actress, model or singer is Tory MP Anne Widdecombe - yet 89 per cent of respondents said they had no interest in politics.

And while three-quarters of young women insist they are "having a ball", they admit they will soon be ready to settle down. The average respondent wants to get married at 26 and have a baby at 27.


* Four out of 10 admit that they rely on their parents to bail them out when they overspend.

* The average young British woman goes out four nights a week and six out of 10 women are drunk at least once every seven days.

* Seven out of 10 say their social life is better than their mother's at the same age and more than half believe they have a better sex life, but 55 per cent admit that they experience less romance than their parents. Posh Spice the icon for girls who just want to have fun.