One in two women does not feel confident about the way they look, a new survey has found.
Ironically, 88 per cent of women polled also said that they thought that confidence, not youth, was the secret of true beauty, despite so few saying that they felt confident about their looks themselves.
‘What makes a woman truly beautiful? Confidence,’ said one respondent, Michelle Goodall, 36. ‘It is reaching that point in life when you accept what you’re given and celebrate it.’
‘There are a whole swathe of women who are not obsessed by ageing or looks but at the same time just want to look the best they can,’ added another, Helen Williams, 38.
The survey and focus group was conducted on behalf of organic skincare brand, Pai, which is also participating in the government-led campaign to encourage women to feel better about the way they look and conducting an Age Confidence campaign of its own.
‘As a 37 year old woman, I resent being told my days of looking and feeling my best are numbered, and that I should trolley-dash my way around my local beauty hall to “save” myself from lines and wrinkles,’ said Pai Skincare founder, Sarah Brown.
‘Age Confidence is an antidote to anti-ageing quick fixes, and encourages women to take a healthier approach to both their skin and their self-image.
‘Rather than looking ten years younger, out research shows women’s real beauty ambition is to look and feel fantastic in the skin they’re in.
‘It’s time brands started to celebrate beauty at every age, and help build rather than break down healthy self-images with positive beauty messages.’
The Government’s Body Confidence campaign was launched as part of the Coalition’s ‘create a fairer and more equal society’ policy, and aims to widen the definition of beauty represented in
mainstream culture to include all ages, shapes, sizes and ethnicities.
Jo Swinson, Minister for Women and Equalities, and the MP in charge of the government plan, said: ‘There is evidence to suggest that women over 40 experience high levels of dissatisfaction with their weight and bodies in comparison to their younger years.
‘That’s a huge, and largely hidden, reservoir of distress that we need to understand more fully and take action on more effectively.
‘I want to question the veneration of ‘eternal youth’ that dominates the beauty industry, and highlight the negative influence it has on women’s self-image – particularly with regards to ageing,’ added Brown.
‘Together, both campaigns show that it’s time the beauty industry and regulatory bodies unite to make marketing more responsible and work towards building healthy self-images rather than destroying them.’