I’m thinking of a number between one and ten…
In a world where women are trying incessantly to have a voice, it seems all too often our self-confidence is quelled by forces even stronger than our fighting spirit.
We’re subjected to media images of heavily-photoshopped celebrities, endless ads for weight loss products, anti-ageing creams, and even cosmetic procedures for our va-jay-jays. It seems no matter where we look, something somewhere is telling us we’re just not good enough as we are.
This message seems to be channeled particularly through our physical appearance. Sure, we’ve come a long way since the days a woman’s worth was measured solely by her looks and apparent fertility, but appearance is still our currency to a certain extent.
It’s no surprise women who are genuinely happy with their bodies are a rarity. In fact, in a study conducted by Brown University, 74 per cent of women admitted they stressed about their appearance “all the time”. Similar studies by Stanford University, and the University of Massachusetts found 70 per cent of women felt worse about their bodies after reading women’s magazines. (Shock, horror.)
But with all the talk of percentages, statistics, and what we see on screen or in print, it’s natural to wonder what women actually think of their bodies. Are the studies true? Are we really that self-conscious about the way we look? Do we really never rate ourselves any better than, well, average? We asked 10 women to rank their physical appearance on a scale of one to ten to find out…
“I like to think I’m half and half; half fabulous, half room for improvement.”
“I have always been happy with myself and how I look. I choose clothes that work for me and only do light makeup. I dress comfortably, eat well, and don’t really worry myself with what other people think. I guess that’s the key to confidence.”
“I went with a six as I have been better looking physically in the past. I do like my eyes and am lucky enough to have naturally long eyelashes. I don’t mind my figure, but I would like to lose some post-Christmas weight and tone up my legs. My hair is looking quite thin, my skin has some breakouts and my teeth need a good whiten!”
“I chose five because right now, that’s my level of confidence in myself. But there’s room for growth!”
“One day I could put on a piece of clothing and absolutely love it, and the next day I could put it on and question, ‘What the hell am I thinking?!’. I find that my mood really influences my self confidence. Today is somewhere in the middle.”
“I gave myself a four because my teeth are gappy, my face is fat, and I don’t like my skin. Sometimes I feel differently, but today is definitely a ‘four’ day!”
“Six is a lucky number in Chinese culture. It means everything’s going to go smoothly!”
“I chose six because I think I have a lot of work to do on my personality and I believe personality is what makes people attractive.”
“The first time I was told I wasn’t pretty enough, I decided I didn’t care what anyone else thought. There’s only so much that can be done about such a thing and I don’t see the point of changing for the minority.”
“I feel that I am a pretty girl but I know that I will not be gracing the cover of Vogue any time soon. I’ve been fortunate to be born with a naturally petite figure, long eyelashes and great hair and I love to play up those features.”
Comment: Are you happy with the way you look?