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They often don't trust praise of their work or talents, believing positive evaluations to be influenced by their appearance.

What people see and how they react to their reflection in a mirror will vary according to: species, sex, age, ethnic group, sexual orientation, mood, eating disorders, what they've been watching on TV, what magazines they read, whether they're married or single, what kind of childhood they had, whether they take part in sports, what phase of the menstrual cycle they're in, whether they are pregnant, where they've been shopping – and even what they had for lunch.

Female humans begin to dislike what they see only a few years later.

The latest surveys show very young girls are going on diets because they think they are fat and unattractive.

If you were a dog or a cat or a horse you wouldn't realise that the image was a reflection of yourself.

Most animals in this situation think that they are face to face with another member of their species.

Research shows that men generally have a much more positive body-image than women – if anything, they may tend to over-estimate their attractiveness.

Some men looking in the mirror may literally not see the flaws in their appearance. Because women are judged on their appearance more than men, and standards of female beauty are considerably higher and more inflexible.

Concern with appearance is not just an aberration of Modern Western culture.

Every period of history has had its own standards of what is and is not beautiful, and every contemporary society has its own distinctive concept of the ideal physical attributes.

The current media ideal for women is achievable by less than 5% of the female population – and that's just in terms of weight and size.

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