Only 4% of women consider themselves beautiful

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In the Dove 2010 global study The Real Truth About Beauty: Revisited, 6 400 women between the ages of 18 – 64 years were surveyed and a shocking 54% agreed that when it comes to how they look, they are their own worst beauty critic.

This equates to 672 million women worldwide who do not acknowledge their own beauty.

The study also revealed that 59% of women admit to feeling pressure to be beautiful, 32% admits that their greatest source of beauty pressure is the pressure they put on themselves. This self-imposed beauty anxiety – the pressure to be beautiful - is greater than any other source, including society (12%), friends and family (6%) and the media (6%).

“These are devastating statistics, we have a savage internal critic whose eyes turn mean when we look at ourselves,” says leading psychotherapist and study collaborator Susie Orbach. “The new Dove global study tells us that women have become their own worst beauty critic and unfortunately this can have a wider impact on self esteem, confidence and happiness.”

Beauty in others easier to see

The research also uncovered a beauty paradox; while 80% of women see the beauty in others, agreeing that every woman has something about her that is beautiful, they are unable to recognise their own beauty. 

While the number of women who describe themselves as beautiful has doubled from 2 to 4% since the original 2004 Dove study, women are still not comfortable with their own beauty. In addition to this, 72% say the most beautiful women are those who make the most of what they have, yet almost half say they are not doing this, even though they agree they have the potential to look better.

“Dove believes every woman has the potential to look and feel her best,” said Dove marketing manager Kate Swan. “We feel the most beautiful women are not necessarily those born with the most, but those that make the most of what they have with simple everyday care.”

How a woman feels about her looks can greatly affect her overall self esteem and happiness. The Dove vision is to create a world where beauty is a source of confidence rather than anxiety. We want to encourage all women to develop a positive relationship with beauty, helping to raise their self-esteem, and thereby enabling them to realise their full potential.

Join the Real Beauty conversation on facebook.com/dove, @DoveSouthAfrica #realbeauty

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