A quarter of women use filters on photos of themselves before posting on social media – because they cannot bear to reveal their scars and stretch marks.
The study found this figure more than doubles for women aged 24 and under, as 51 per cent admit to rarely uploading an unaltered photo online.
Just 16 per cent of those with cellulite, scars or stretch marks have ever posted a photo of themselves on social media with these ‘so-called imperfections’ visible.
Instead, women use digital distortion apps and filters to erase these blemishes before sharing the picture online.
More likes for filtered out flaws
Worryingly, 50 per cent of respondents said they received more ‘likes’ and positive comments on pictures where they use filters on photos for their flaws, compared with unedited images.
The research was commissioned by Dove, which is partnering with body confidence advocates to encourage women to celebrate the unique story their skin tells.
A number of stars will forgo the filter and share images featuring their scars, stretch marks and other so-called ‘imperfections’.
Stacey Solomon: “Women’s bodies are incredible”
TV personality and mum-of-three Stacey Solomon, who often shares images of her stretch marks on social media, is working with the skincare brand.
She said: “No matter how hard society or social media tries to tell us that we are not enough, women’s bodies are incredible and should be celebrated.
“I love my stretch marks, every inch of my body is part of my story, as a woman and as a mother, I wouldn’t change an inch.
“This is why I’m championing Dove’s campaign to share and celebrate my skin, stretch-marked and dimpled, to encourage other women to embrace the stories their own skin tells.
“Over the past few years, I’ve learned to embrace and love the body that I live in and I know that seeing other women’s real bodies is so empowering.
“I’m going to keep sharing images of my skin, unfiltered, and hope other women will join me.”
Imperfections deemed ugly
The research also revealed a third (33 per cent) of women described their skin as ‘blemished’, 28 per cent said it’s ‘saggy’ – and more than one in 10 (13 per cent) even went as far as to say it’s ‘ugly’.
Almost a quarter felt their skin would be ‘more beautiful’ without the perceived imperfections such as cellulite, scars, and stretch-marks.
And 84 per cent of women believed social media sets unrealistic expectations of what skin should look like.
As a result, 65 per cent want to see more people posting unedited and unfiltered images of themselves, with 73 per cent believing it would help them feel less pressure to have ‘perfect skin’.
Nikki Comiskey from Dove, which has launched a new range of moisturising body washes to suit unique skin needs, said: “Our skin tells a story – whether that’s a childhood memory, a thirty-year friendship marked by a tattoo, motherhood, or a story of survival.”