Why women don't believe they are beautiful

Only 4% of women around the world consider themselves beautiful.

Dove, the global beauty brand, believes beauty should be a source of confidence, not anxiety and is committed to inspiring women and girls to reach their full potential by caring for themselves and each other.

To better understand women’s relationship with beauty, Dove is releasing a 20 market global study titled, ‘The Real Truth About Beauty: Revisited'. The research explores how beauty can be linked to happiness and personal care.

Women are their own worst beauty critic

The study showed that more than half of women (54%) globally agree that when it comes to how they look, they are their own worst beauty critic. This equates to 672 million women worldwide , who are preventing themselves from reaching their full beauty potential.

While the majority of women globally admit to feeling pressure to be beautiful (59%) almost a third (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. 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, ” says leading psychotherapist and study collaborator Susie Orbach.

Beauty: The eye of the beholder

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 percent since the original 2004 Dove study, women are still not comfortable with their own beauty.

“Dove believes every woman has the potential to look and feel her best,” said Dove spokesperson Kate Swan.

How a woman feels about her looks can greatly affect her overall self esteem and happiness. Dove seeks to create a world where beauty is a source of confidence rather than anxiety.

Join the conversation on: Facebook

Share your opinion, find out what you can do to get involved in the Dove self esteem programmes or download free self esteem toolkits for girls, mothers or mentors.
To view the Dove digital films, please visit YouTube
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