And the survey of 1,000 women, conducted by Dove Skincare, found more than three-quarters (78 per cent) rated ‘real women’ as the image they’d most like to see in beauty advertising, over celebrities and teenage girls.
The poll found 27 per cent of women admit the biggest pressure to be beautiful actually comes from themselves.
Society (19 per cent) and the media (13 per cent) were next on the list of top beauty pressures, but just five per cent of women feel pressure from friends, family and partners, a major newspaper reported.
The research also revealed that the secret to women feeling confident was a clear combination of relationships and looking good.
Being loved (72 per cent) was the biggest confidence booster for women, followed by having a strong relationship or marriage (53 per cent), liking how you look in the mirror (35 per cent), being in good physical shape (33 per cent), and taking good care of yourself (31 per cent).
Although ‘being loved’ rated highest as the biggest influence on confidence, looks are still playing a key role in boosting self-esteem.
The vast majority of women (82 per cent) agree they feel their best inside and out when they care about the way they look.
The art of paying compliments also rated highly in helping women feel beautiful, with 50 per cent agreeing they feel more confident when they are complimented - second only to being in a happy relationship.
However, one-in-four women were unable to remember when they last received a compliment that made them feel beautiful.
The research also revealed different attitudes to confidence across varying age groups. As women get older, the amount of compliments they give per day reduces significantly.
One in five 18 to 24-year-old old women (20 percent) tell their female friends they look beautiful on a daily basis, but just one in 25 of 55 to 64-year-olds (four per cent) do the same.
Both those age groups had the lowest beauty confidence while those in the 25 to 29-year-old age bracket feel the most assured about their looks.
Dove claims to be a worldwide pioneer in raising women’s self-esteem and supporting real beauty, and is launching a new nationwide billboard campaign this month.
Supporting the Dove Skincare range, it introduces ‘Alexis’, a British-born Real Woman scouted for her positivity and body confidence.
“Eight years on from the launch of Dove’s Campaign for Real Beauty, it’s clear there is still a need for women like Alexis to help boost self-esteem around the country,” said Ali Fisher, Dove’s marketing manager.
“Dove’s Body Confidence Census proves it is as important as ever for women to know they are beautiful inside and out. We hope our new Dove skincare campaign will remind women everywhere to celebrate their own natural beauty and be happy in their own skin,” Fisher added.