I'm so excited to partner with Dove to share about the Dove Self-Esteem Project and their new short film, Change One Thing, that encourages girls to realize that they don't need to change one thing about their appearance. Take a moment to watch the short film above, and I have a feeling you'll be ready to join me in making a difference in a girl's life.
To date, the Dove Self-Esteem Project has reached 17 million girls with self-esteem programming. However, there is more work to be done. Research shows that 9 out of 10 girls want to change at least one thing about their appearance. Fortunately, Dove believes that everyone has the opportunity to make a difference in a girl’s self-esteem.
Today, the Dove Self-Esteem Project is launching a Pinterest page to provide free resources that address today's biggest barriers to a girl's self-esteem. With this new campaign, Dove's goal is to encourage girls to find confidence in their beauty and inspire women to embrace the power and ease of mentorship to help the girls in their lives reach their full potential.
The articles and resources shared as part of the Dove Self-Esteem Project are accessible and full of actionable ideas to help you begin to have the sometimes tough conversations about everything from body awareness and respecting yourself to peer pressure, bullying, and navigating social media. There are also activities and starting points to help you begin to weave in more moments that help your daughter or the girls in your life think about body confidence and self-care.
My daughter Ellie is just five, but already I'm noticing the way she talks about her body and even how she talks about the ways she's liked or not liked by her peers on any given day. She isn't really saying negative things very often, but I'm observing the awareness she has about herself and her peers. I'm also noticing how she pays attention to the way I talk about myself and my body and features and sometimes mirrors what I say.
Our daughters are feeling the pressure to look beautiful at as young as 10 years old. When girls feel that they have a positive role model, they are less likely to let anxieties about looks hold them back. (Source: Dove Global Research: The Real Truth About Beauty: Revisited)
When I think about this, I can't help but want to imagine a world where our daughters look in the mirror with kindness. (I want you to imagine a world where you look at yourself with kindness too.) I really do believe we can make this world a reality.
Several activities shared as part of the Dove Self-Esteem Project invite moms to think about how they can model positive self-esteem for their daughters and other young women in their lives. One of my favorite ideas encourages moms to get into photos with their daughters. Getting into photographs and even selfies with your daughter is actually a great way to invite them to feel connected and deeply seen while also modeling self-kindness toward yourself as you let yourself be seen as well.
If you've been reading my blog for a while, you know that taking self-portraits is a big part of my creative self-care. I even wrote a book all about self-portraiture. So taking selfies happens a lot around here. Even though I've been working on softening my own inner self-talk for a long time and taking photos of myself is really part of the work I do in the world, sometimes I don't want to be in a photo or take a selfie; sometimes I feel like I look too tired or too stressed or simply not pretty.
But my daughter doesn't see the circles or the fine lines that I get caught up in noticing. She just sees someone she deeply loves. And she's seen me model self-portraiture so much that she often wants me to take a photo of us together.
So I'm getting in the photos with her when she asks, even in the moments when I feel tired or don't have on any make-up. When I look at this photo of the two of us in the evening light earlier this year - a photo I took with my phone and arm extended - I see that love that I know she sees. And I'm trusting that these little moments of love and self-care and connection will deeply support her as she keeps developing.
I also really recommend the body scan mindfulness activity (click through and pin that one so you don't forget). This is something I've been teaching Ellie in the evening after she gets into bed. We bring awareness to the different parts of our bodies and notice how our bodies feel. We even send our bodies love. My hope is that this will continue to be a powerful way for her to stay connected to her body and how she feels physically and emotionally. It is also a really good one to practice yourself to deeply connect with your body.
Head over to the Dove Self-Esteem Project Pinterest page and start exploring! There are so many wonderful resources to help the girls and young women in your life begin to have an awareness of what they say aloud and internally, while also helping you support them to begin to make positive changes and invite in more self-love as they raise their self-esteem.
You could even create your own #SelfEsteemProject Pinterest board to start saving these resources so you know right where to find them when you need them. I also really like the idea of starting a mom's group where you could begin to support one another in having these conversations with your daughters and with yourself. That's something I hope to do over here in my corner of the world.
May we each take a step toward encouraging the young women in our lives and help them to see that they don't need to change one thing about their appearance.
Yes. Yes. Yes.
Note: This post was sponsored by Dove and I'm honored to partner with them to share the #SelfEsteemProject message and spread the word over on Pinterest. I hope you'll join in and spread the word too so these resources can get into the hands of even more people. Thanks for being here and reading!
Photo of Ellie and the photo of Ellie and me in her bedroom were both taken by Tara Whitney.