The Dove Global Beauty and Confidence Report (PDF) (1,003 KB)Opens in new window🔗 revealed that, worldwide, when girls don’t feel good about the way they look:
• 8 in 10 opt out of important life activities, such as engaging with friends or loved ones;
• 7 in 10 stop eating or put their health at risk in other ways;
• and 7 in 10 have not been assertive in their opinion or stuck to their decision.
Perhaps all this is unsurprising when 70% believe media and advertising set unrealistic standards of beauty.
When girls hold themselves back because of the way they think they look, they miss out – and society misses out too. Studies in Finland, China, and the US show that girls who think they’re overweight, regardless of their actual weight, have lower grades. The negative impact of low confidence continues later in life, with 17% of women claiming they won’t go to a job interview and 8% missing work when they feel bad about their appearance.
Dove believes beauty should be a source of confidence, not worry. We want a world free of appearance-related anxiety so young people can grow up as confident and active members of society.
Recognizing low body confidence
What are the signs of low body confidence and negative body image? A young person might seem overly focused on weight or body shape. They may complain about features such as their skin color, or seem generally upset about their looks. You might have heard them talking about bullies at school or obsessing over images of celebrities with impossibly long limbs and photoshopped bodies – beauty standards that are impossible to achieve.
You might think of these pressures as part of growing up – and some of them are. But when a young person doesn’t feel good about themselves, they aren’t reaching their full potential.