Like any other woman living in a beauty-obsessed society, I have issues with my body. I definitely don’t hate it, but I can name at least three things I wish I could change about it. I’ve never given much thought to why I want to change the way I look, if it was my personality or the photoshopped ads on store windows, I just always thought it came with being a girl. I know I am not alone when it comes to body confidence, and that is why it is truly significant that companies like Aerie and Dove are taking matters into their own hands. Dove has recently announced a new goal of doubling its social impact by 2020, committing to positively impact an additional 20 million young lives over the next four years.
The Dove Global Beauty and Confidence Report found that women’s confidence in their bodies is declining, with low body esteem becoming a challenge for women worldwide. 10,500 females across 13 countries were interviewed, and more than 85 percent of women say they opt out of certain activities when they don’t feel confident in their appearance. Nine out of 10 women said they would stop themselves from eating if they are unhappy with their appearance. "This latest research shows that low body confidence is a global issue," says Nancy Etcoff, Ph.D., assistant clinical professor at Harvard Medical School, director of program in Aesthetics and Wellbeing, and MGH Department of Psychiatry. "Though troubling, these results are also unsurprising, given the increasing pressures women and girls face today. We need to help empower women and girls in many ways, including increasing body-confidence education, driving meaningful conversations around the pressures women and girls face, and advocating for change in how females and their appearance are talked about and portrayed in the media."
The report’s findings challenge people to view issues of beauty and body-esteem and the pressures females feel to conform to an unrealistic standard of beauty as ones that affect women throughout their lives. Nearly 78 percent of women and girls feel some pressure to never make mistakes or show weakness. However, 77 percent agreed it’s important to be your own person and not copy anyone else. "Taking time for care - whether it's body or mind - is an important step in improving the confidence of women and girls," says Victoria Sjardin, senior global director for Dove Masterbrand. "For over 50 years, Dove has been committed to creating a world where beauty is a source of confidence, not anxiety. With this new research, we hope to inspire women and girls everywhere to develop a positive relationship with the way they look."
How do you think the spa industry can help make a difference in body confidence for girls and women?