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With so much pressure to be big-breasted, blonde and beautiful, it's no surprise that Ilana thinks many women struggle with self-esteem issues. "Brazilian girls, we don't feel happy if we're not pretty," she says. "That's the truth."

Ilana now lives in England, but when she travels back to Brazil, she says it's not uncommon for people to comment on her weight—whether she's taken some pounds off or put some on. "People don't feel awkward talking to you about your weight at all, which is quite interesting," she says.

Brazilians aren't alone in their quest for outer beauty. In a survey about body image conducted by Dove, 90 percent of the women they polled around the globe admitted they want to change some part of their appearance. A quarter of the women surveyed said they would consider plastic surgery, but just 2 percent have gone under the knife. When the women were asked if beauty is too narrowly defined by physical appearance, 70 percent said yes.
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FROM: Beauty Secrets from Around the World
Published on November 20, 2008

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