Having a pre-teen daughter with self-esteem issues is very difficult. I know for me it is a struggle sometimes to get her to see in herself what everyone else sees in her; that she is a beautiful and amazing young lady with so much talent and potential. Thanks to the unrealistic expectations of beauty portrayed on the covers of magazines and in television shows and movies, today more than ever many young girls struggle with low self-esteem. Not only does poor self-esteem make them feel less than great about themselves it can also lead to failure to reach their full potential later in life. Dove has made it their mission to help girls realize how beautiful they truly are with the Dove Self-Esteem Fund.
I’m sure many of you have seen the commercials on television or the ads in magazines about the Dove Self-Esteem Fund but for those of you who have not here’s a little more about the program and how you can help!
The Dove Self-Esteem Fund was established to inspire and educate girls about a wider definition of beauty and is committed to reaching 5 million girls globally by 2010 with self-esteem programming. Thanks to the support of influential women globally, Dove has already reached 2 million girls and conducted nearly 2,700 educational self-esteem workshops since 2006.
The Dove Self-Esteem Fund is part of the Dove Campaign for Real Beauty, a global effort designed to widen today’s stereotypical view of beauty. In the U.S., the DSEF supports the Boys and Girls Club of America and the Girls Scouts of the USA to help build confidence in girls 8-17 with after-school programs, self-esteem building events and educational resources. In the United Kingdom and other countries, the Fund supports Body Talk, an educational program about body image and self-esteem in schools.
Dove recently released the Real Girls, Real Pressure: A National Report on the State of Self-Esteem, conducted with girls between eight and 17 and commissioned by Dove Self-Esteem Fund, to provide additional information to help Dove better understand the issues, causes and outcomes of low-esteem -- as well as the most powerful change agents on a national and regional level.
Findings from the Report found that the majority of girls (seven in ten) feel they do not measure up in some way including their looks, performance in school and relationships. Most disturbing is that girls with low self-esteem are engaging in harmful and destructive behavior that can leave a lasting imprint on their lives.
Now I have to be honest and admit that I had my fair share of self-esteem issues growing up. When I was a teenager I was very thin, so thin in fact, that my friends used to joke that I was anorexic or that I had bulimia, and you thought being super skinny was a good thing. No matter how many times I insisted that I was neither they kept up with the jokes and it used to literally make me sick. I remember being in high school and being so self conscious that while most of my friends were filling out and flaunting their curves I was doing whatever I could to not bring attention to my non-existent chest. Those are things that I struggled with well into adulthood and I recall many times that I felt less than pretty because of them.
Having had low self-esteem issues myself, and now having a daughter who does has made me realize how important it is to support efforts to change the way young girls see themselves. And the best thing is that we can help! You can help support the Dove Self-Esteem Fund by simply purchasing Dove products and entering the UPC symbols from each participating package on the Dove website here. For every UPC symbol you enter on the website Dove will donate $1 to inspiring self-esteem programs (The Boys and Girls Clubs of America, Girl Scouts, and Girl’s Inc.) committed to helping girls feel better about themselves. I don’t know how you feel but to me the people at Dove are Rock Stars for what they are doing!
My Challenge to YOU!
Share your story! Have you ever dealt with self-esteem issues? Did you overcome them? How did you overcome them? Maybe you have a daughter who is dealing with low self-esteem? My point is that by admitting that we’ve been there and went through it maybe we can help someone else who is going through the same thing, or maybe we can help someone whose daughter is going through it. Together we can make a difference! So I challenge you to let your guard down and share your story!