I love seeing the natural beauty in young girls today. That’s why it’s such a shame that at some point along their childhood, movies, television, magazines, commercials, advertisements and billboards tarnish that natural beauty and make girls second guess who they are and how they look. It’s heartbreaking to see these smart girls emulate what they see in the media. Perfect, flawless, unrealistic beauty surrounds them at every turn. It’s no wonder girls think they are not good enough. That’s why as parents, we feel it’s important to teach our girls that what they see is not real. That they are beautiful, just the way they are. Who better than a corporate conglomerate like Dove to spearhead this important topic?
Being that Kathy & I both have daughters, we were thrilled to be Yummy Mummy Club (YMC) Ambassadors to Dove’s Moms & Daughters Self-Esteem Workshops that took place over the last few weeks across Canada. Together with our workshop host Shannon Acheson, it was great to see so many moms with their 8 to 12-year-old daughters attend the free workshop to spend an hour of quality time together. One of the girls even skipped Girl Guides to attend. Her mother felt the topic was important and made the commitment to attend with her daughter. We are proud to play a part in Dove’s mission to improve the self-esteem of 15 million girls by 2015.
The purpose of the workshop is to get mothers and daughters talking about self-esteem and body confidence. And talk they did! There were numerous activities for mom and daughter to do together, which got the girls talking with their mothers. The evening focused It’s about teaching girls what it means to have a healthy self-esteem and giving them the tools to learn to strengthen it, so that they are happy to be who they are – unique and beautiful! They don’t need to look like Ariana Grande or Selena Gomez to feel good.
The workshop also taught the girls that even models don’t truly look the way they do on billboards and magazine ads. Many of the girls and even their moms were shocked at how the video unfolded. Technology has really pushed the boundaries to create the “perfect” looking woman and to be honest, it’s an insult to women and girls everywhere because society is showing girls that beauty is all about how you look on the outside, but beauty is also about who you are on the inside. If you feel good about yourself, it’ll show on the outside. Your confidence, smile and laughter will become evident to others around you when you feel good about yourself. The video “Evolution” below is extremely powerful, one all girls should see. This is where technology has taken the industry today.
A Dove 2010 Global Study found that over 60% of girls avoid certain activities because they feel bad about their looks:
- 23% won’t go to the beach or pool
- 19% won’t try out for a team or club
- 15% won’t give an opinion
- 13% wont’ go to school
I’m not at all surprised at the statistics, because I’ve done all of those things myself. There were numerous times in elementary school where I faked being sick so I could skip school because I had a zit on my nose or a cold sore on my mouth. Things didn’t change much in high school either. I didn’t try out for school teams or join clubs because I didn’t feel I would make the cut or contribute in a meaningful way. That was me — over 30 years ago. Sadly, current statistics show that there are still many girls like my younger self. It’s time for things to change.
If you’re looking for tools to help you get the conversation started with your daughter, Dove Canada has a fantastic toolbox of self-esteem resources to help encourage girls to always embrace their own unique beauty. It is our job as parents to help our kids embrace who they are and to not let them settle for anything or anyone else.
About Wendy Morelli
Wendy loves her 2 kids and her iPhone, not necessarily always in that order. She is an app obsessed mom who loves everything tech and is (unfortunately) old enough to remember the brick Motorola cell phone and the Commodore computer. Her love for technology stems back to the 10+ years of working for technology based companies. Wendy's alter ego, "AppHipMom" has been featured in Canadian Family, iVillage, Women in Biz, EverythingMom, BlogHer and Savvy Mom.