News Releases


7 out of 10 Australian women have an ‘I hate my body’ moment every week

Feb 1, 2016

A new Special K #OwnIt Body Confidence Study has revealed that 7 out of 10 Australian women have an ‘I hate my body’ moment every single week.

The unforgiving voice inside our heads can give way to self-doubt about our bodies. In fact, the most common focus of body negativity for Australian women is their mid-section, with four in five women (82 per cent) worrying about their belly and waist area. How women feel about their belly/waist impacts on all women equally, whether young or old, whether they have children or not, or are married or not.

Nearly half (47 per cent) of women fret about their legs; 39 per cent are concerned with their arms or bum; and almost 37 per cent are unhappy with their skin.
The survey also found that the impact of self-doubt goes well beyond what they see in the mirror ― self-doubt can prevent Australian women from being their best-selves at work and in their personal lives:

  • 62 per cent (3 in 5) of Aussie women don’t wear certain clothes due to doubt about their physical appearance
  • Almost half (48 per cent) have avoided beaches or pools for fear of wearing a swimsuit
  • More than one in three (39 per cent) women have stayed within the dressing room when trying on clothes because of doubts about their appearance
  • 29 per cent have been too self-conscious to dance when attending a wedding, party or club

This degree of self-doubt can lead women to fixate on the negative, rather than focus on what they love about themselves and changing their own perspective. This is why Special K Australia is embracing a new attitude and calling on women to do the same; today announcing its new mantra that celebrates women by encouraging them to ‘ditch their doubt’ and #OwnIt.

#OwnIt campaign ambassadors, body image specialists Sarah Harry and Fiona Sutherland of Body Positive Australia praised Special K for this campaign as it aims to raise awareness of the variety of ways women can feel good about the bodies they have, and reduce pressure on women to conform to unrealistic ideals and perceptions of their bodies.

“As body positive activists, clinicians, teachers and researchers we are excited to see such a shift in advertising, as media can be such a contributor to negative body image. Women feeling good enough in their own ‘perfectly imperfect’ skin is something we rarely see in media, yet we know that to be a way women can build resilience and body positivity.

“It is fantastic to see a diverse range of bodies, sizes, abilities and even sexualities represented in mainstream media. We know that women absorb thousands of messages a day; most telling them they are not good enough and so a campaign like Special K’s #OwnIt can help create change on many levels.

“We hope the Special K #OwnIt campaign will help bring more women closer to feeling truly comfortable in their skin, so that they will be able to really reclaim the joy in their lives.”

In order to alleviate doubt about their appearance and #OwnIt, the research results indicate Australian women turn to the following:

  • Doing physical activity/getting fitter (88 per cent)
  • Eating something healthy (85 per cent)
  • Being surrounded by friends and family (85 per cent)

“Despite there being tactics to alleviate doubt, our study of over 1,000 women has shown that 7 out of 10 women have an ‘I hate my body’ moment every single week. That’s way too many,” says Kellogg’s Australia Marketing Director, Tamara Howe. “The new #OwnIt campaign aims to counter that negativity. While we may not be able to eliminate self-doubt for women, we can be her ally in the fight against it, by exposing how widespread it is and becoming an advocate for body confidence and inner strength. When Australian women are able to take control of self-doubt, they are stronger, more confident and ultimately empowered.”

In partnership with Body Positive Australia, Special K will be running a series of Ditch the Doubt workshops throughout 2016 to support women with their #OwnIt journeys and find their inner strength. More information about these will be published on Special K’s Facebook page in February.

Join the conversation on Instagram @specialkaustralia using the hashtag #OwnIt, and check out and

About the research:

  • This study was conducted by Galaxy Research online between Tuesday, 5 January 2016 and Friday, 8 January 2016
  • The report is based upon 1,001 Australian females aged 18-54 years