Beauty. Confidence. Self-esteem. #DoveInspired

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When was the last time you thought about your self-esteem? If you’re an adult it may not have been something you consciously put thought into since by now your behavior patterns are relatively set but if you are around any girls or young women I challenge you to think hard about what helped and what hurt your path to self-assurance.

This week Dove® is hosting its 3rd annual Self-Esteem Weekend, October 5–7, 2012, with a kick-off event in Time Square and nationwide with partner organizations which include Wal-Mart stores. If there are any girls in your life I highly encourage you to take part either online or by attending a local event. There is lots of information that needs to be shared and the better educated we are about the topic the more likely we’ll be able to positively impact the lives of the girls around us.

As the mother of two young girls and the daughter of a fabulous woman who struggled with her self-esteem this topic is extremely important to me and participating in this campaign has opened my eyes to issues I was not fully aware of. For instance, did you know that anxiety about beauty begins at an early age, and can even keep girls from doing what they love and keep them from reaching their full potential? Here are a few more tidbits of info. According to Dove global research:

  • 72 percent of girls (ages 10-17) feel tremendous pressure to be beautiful
  • Only 11 percent of girls (ages 10-17) are comfortable using the word beautiful to describe themselves
  • When girls feel bad about their looks more than 60 percent globally (age 15 to 17) avoid normal daily activities such as attending school, going to the doctor, or even giving their opinion
Self-esteem is built early.

Really? How can something that seems so superficial have such a HUGE impact on a girl’s life? Even if it seems irrational to us it really does impact young girls.  My oldest daughter is four… FOUR… and she already makes comments about wanting to be beautiful.  How could any child NOT be beautiful?  Our society plays a huge role in these messages which our young girls are constantly bombarded with from too many sources to count.  The good thing is that we can change that with a conversation. This October, we can make a conscious effort to reach out to the girl in our life and talk to her about beauty, confidence and self-esteem. I have another post that will be up next Wednesday (10/10/12) about my journey with my daughters and how I began to build their self-esteem since they were born. Please come back and read and share your thoughts and tactics that have worked for you.

On a very personal note, I am eternally grateful to my parents who helped us build a healthy self-esteem and learn self-respect. Although my mother struggled with her own esteem she and my father made huge efforts to reinforce our worth and provide us with unconditional love that made us feel safe in their environment. Conversations were always actively taking place and when we hit rough spots we could always dialogue with our parents. It helped both my brother and me find our own voice and strength.  We learned to accept ourselves with all our talents and the flaws. Those conversations with our parents (not mom for me or dad for him but both of them for both of us) made a huge difference in our lives.

Now here is a more alarming reality.  Latinas in the US might struggle all the more with their self-esteem and the language barrier that may exist for their parents makes it harder for them to access helpful information to help them.  This is why I am thrilled to learn that Dove’s initiative is also available in Spanish: Vive Mejor Hablemos “Let’s Talk”.  There are lots of good points and conversation starters here to help any Spanish speaking “mentors” have these talks.

Espero todos puedan informarse y encontrar la manera de aplicar lo aprendido con sus hijas, primas, nietas, sobrinas, amigas, etc. I’m hoping that you all can benefit from the information and find a way to apply it to help out the young girls in your lives. Everyone has the opportunity to make a difference in a girl’s self-esteem and you should be part of that!

Disclosure: This is part of a sponsored campaign with Latina Bloggers Connect and Dove. However, all opinions expressed are my own.

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