Dove recently completed its Body Confidence Census of 2012, surveying UK women between the ages of 18 and 64 about their thoughts on beauty and confidence and the results showed women still have a long way to go in the self-esteem department. When most women were asked to describe their looks and their body, the most common answer was simply “average.”
“Only 2 percent of women are saying, ‘I’m beautiful’ and only 1 in 10 are saying, ‘I feel attractive,’ a Dove spokesperson said. “That’s just not where we want to be.”
The majority of women actually said the pressure to “be beautiful” comes from themselves, with the media coming next in line, and a small percentage noting pressure from family members, friends, and their partners. The majority of women (82%) said they feel their best inside and out when they care about the way they look, and going against the very nature of “self-“esteem, 50% of the women said they feel more beautiful when they receive a compliment. Sadly, nearly a quarter of the women surveyed were unable to remember when they last received a compliment that even made them feel attractive.
Interestingly, most women said it wasn’t what’s on the outside that made them most confident. “Being loved” ranked highest as the biggest confidence boost and more than half said it was having a strong relationship or marriage. Another third said liking how they look in the mirror makes them confident and about one in three said being in good shape was key.
Though most women seem to let their beauty rest in the eye of another beholder, what they’re missing is that they can easily up their own confidence and beauty by simply loving themselves.