BBC3 goes behind the gloss with a collection of new programmes challenging conventional notions of beauty.

The Beauty Season features a series of documentaries presented by young female stars that challenge our ideas of beauty and highlight the serious social pressures young people feel to conform.

Strictly Come Dancing champ Alesha Dixon challenges the culture of re-touching and the power of air brushing and examines how this might contribute to fuelling women’s need to seek body perfection in Alesha: Look But Don’t Touch.

Ex Blue Peter presenter Konnie Huq looks at the horror stories behind basic beauty treatments that can go wrong, while Shazia Mirza asks whether we have different concepts of beauty in multi-cultural Britain.

The season also showcases films by new directors around thought-provoking topics ranging from celebrity use of body doubles to pop star Jamelia who delves into our obsession with human hair extensions.

Leading the Beauty Season is a new series, Britain’s Missing Top Model. This six-part modelling competition explores the reasons why disabled people appear not to have a role to play in the beauty industry.

BBC3 controller Danny Cohen said: “This bold season aims to explore the pressures young people feel under to conform to mainstream and deeply engrained perceptions of beauty.

“Through Britain’s Missing Top Model and the documentary experiences of women like Alesha we want to open up the debate about what it means to be beautiful in a world in which we are continually bombarded with images of apparent perfection.”

The Beauty Season screens throughout July on BBC3.