Almost a quarter of women feel uncomfortable in their own skin, according to research.
A poll of 2,000 women found six in 10 blamed their lack of self-esteem on not meeting typical beauty standards, while 29 per cent said it was because they felt “different” to everybody else.
It also emerged just 10 per cent felt beauty brands have realistic representations of women and 63 per cent said they would feel more confident in themselves if they saw women in adverts who reflected the way they look.
The study was commissioned by Gillette Venus to mark the launch of its “My Skin. My Way” campaign, which aims to challenge stereotypes and empower women to celebrate the skin they are in.
The campaign features a selection of “My Skin. My Way” stories told by women who have gone on a journey to love the skin they are in.
Marika, who is a sufferer of congenital nevi – where the body is covered in birthmarks – spoke of her journey to self-love, describing her imperfections as perfections.
After struggling with bullying during her childhood, she often covered up and hid her skin away.
She said: “When the only thing you hear is something negative about you, you start to think the same way.”
After giving birth to her son, she shifted her thinking as she never wanted him to feel bad about himself.
She added: “Every skin is beautiful and it’s amazing to see how different we all are - after all there’s no me without my skin.”
The study also revealed a third of women have cancelled a social event like a night out with friends because they were suffering with a lack of confidence.
Another 12 per cent have cancelled a date, and one in 10 have even called in sick because of low self-esteem levels.
Six in 10 women also said their body hair influences what they wear and a third have avoided social situations, such as the beach or pool, because of it.
Half of women aged 18-24 have avoided posting pictures of themselves on social media because of a lack of confidence in their own skin.
Matt Thomas, Gillette Venus and Gillette brand manager, said: “‘My Skin. My Way’ is a new beginning for [Venus] as a longstanding commitment to empower women and make them comfortable and confident in their skin.
"No more retouching, no more restrictions, no more rules – just real women loving the skin they are in.”
In the study, conducted via OnePoll, 49 per cent of respondents said they believe the beauty industry has an unrealistic and not diverse enough representation of women.
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