I recently had the privilege of hosting a Dove Self Esteem Workshop for a group of amazing girls. These girls were smart, funny, engaging, beautiful, thoughtful, authentic and STRONG. It was an honor and joy to work with them and it reminded me of the reason I started this blog in the first place: to help improve the confidence of women and young girls everywhere.
The workshop was developed by Dove in conjunction with their Campaign for Real Beauty in 2004. It’s designed for girls 8-12 years old and their mentors (moms, grandmothers, aunts, etc.) because a girl’s number one role model is her mom/mentor. We discuss a wide range of topics that negatively and positively affect self-esteem and confidence. We discuss the importance of being unique, the devastating effect of mean words, and the confidence-crushing impact that today’s media has on young girls.
In 2011, Dove® released the findings of its largest global study to date on women’s relationship with beauty—The Real Truth About Beauty: Revisited. The study revealed that only 4% of women around the world consider themselves beautiful, and that anxiety about looks begins at an early age. In a study of over 1,200 10-to-17-year-olds, a majority of girls, 72%, said they felt tremendous pressure to be beautiful. The study also found that only 11% of girls around the world feel comfortable using the word beautiful to describe their looks, showing that there is a universal increase in beauty pressure and a decrease in girls’ confidence as they grow older. Though Dove® efforts have moved the needle in a positive direction, there is more to be done.
If you are interested in scheduling one of these workshops for your daughter and her friends, please don’t wait—just do it! To date, Dove has reached over 7 million girls so far with these programs, and has set a global goal of reaching 15 million girls by 2015. These workshops can positively affect the way young girls feel about themselves today and hopefully will have a lasting impact for the rest of their lives. If you’d like your daughter to attend one of these workshops, please go to Girls Inc. to find a registered facilitator near you. If you live in Philadelphia, please contact me directly to schedule one.