A key takeaway of the study is that “beauty is no longer driven solely by a desire to look younger – women want to control how they look as a way to change how they feel as an individual,” according to a press release about the findings.
“There has been a real change in attitudes in recent years,” affirms plastic surgeon Mauricio de Maio of Brazil (who’s quoted in the release). “Today it is what women feel about themselves that matters most to them.”
Getting good data
Allergan is a pharma company that also makes and sells facial fillers used by dermatologists. The company “commissioned the research to inform and shape its marketing and educational programmes and to inspire the development of products to address the evolving beauty needs of women around the world,” explains the release.
And what Allergan found—regarding the sorts of changes in women’s attitude toward beauty as well as regional variations—can now be part of a larger beauty-industry information set.
Dove, a Unilever personal care brand, just released its third Global Beauty and Confidence Report. That study’s data looked at confidence too. The company quoted Dr. Nancy Etcoff as saying, “this latest research shows that low body confidence is a global issue." And one of the overarching observations Dove made is that “women around the world desire a new beauty definition.”
More than feelings
The Allergan study is based on input from close to 8,000 women from 16 countries. The company found that among women seeking an aesthetic treatment, 42% want to improve their self-confidence and an equal percentage want to change sagging skin.
Who women want to alter their looks for was also something the study explored: 74% “make the effort to look good” for themselves, 37% for their partners, and 15% for their friends.
Facial appearance and body shape are equally important indicators of beauty, according to respondents. And among the top words they used to describe beautiful women are “complexion, glowing, clear, [and] flawless,” according to Allergan.