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Sad Proof That Most Women Don’t Think They’re Beautiful

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It’s no secret that women often struggle with body image, but a new Dove campaign that launched April 7 is forcing us to look at how hard we are on ourselves.

The Choose Beautiful campaign surveyed 6,400 women ages 18 to 64 from five cities around the world (San Francisco, Shanghai, Delhi, London, and São Paolo, to be exact) on how they feel about beauty. And the results were…kind of sad.

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While 80 percent of the women surveyed said that all women have something beautiful about them, a whopping 96 percent said they wouldn’t use the word “beautiful” to describe themselves. Not only that, 78 percent of women said they don’t feel completely confident in their own beauty.

More interesting data from the survey: 32 percent of women say their biggest beauty pressure is the one they put on themselves, and seven out of 10 women agree that beauty is more than physical appearance.

Only 88 percent of U.S. women say they believe that every woman has something about her that is beautiful, compared to 94 percent of women in India and 91 percent of women in Brazil.

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Dove also created a video for the campaign where they had women pick whether they wanted to walk through a door labeled “beautiful” or “average.” Many of them stopped and thought for a moment before making a choice, and one even walked away. Unfortunately, many picked the “average” door. “I didn’t even hesitate,” confessed one “average” woman in the video. Check it out:

But some did go through the “beautiful” door and seemed pretty happy about it. “It was quite a triumphant feeling,” one woman recalled.

To help inspire women to think of themselves as beautiful, Dove has also teamed up with psychologist Nancy Etcoff and self-esteem expert Tara Cousineau to create a “Mindful Me” tool kit as part of its campaign. Check out Dove’s Tumblr page for more. Pretty powerful stuff, right? 

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