Having a teen girl is great, it is amazing in fact, and for the most part (keeping it real) a truly positive experience. However as the years have passed, I have questioned more and more, where I feel as a society we are failing teen girls, when it comes to a positive body image. In the online world that they live in (that we all live in) where we are bombarded with what others consider as beauty, it’s even more important to try to change this I think. Teens girls are in many respects starting to become more independent, and their friends (and things that they see) more influential. It’s important to remember that they are still so fragile at this age, that knocks can make huge impacts on their self-esteem, for many years to come, if not forever. As a mum to a teenager who has experienced this, I know first hand how important positive change is needed NOW, in order to prevent this.
So that’s why today, I am taking this oppotunity to pledge what I am going to teach and pass on to both of my daughters, but especially my eldest daughter Nia :
- I want to bring my daughters into a world that embraces that we are all different and that in itself is beautiful
- To not focus on skinny or fat, but to promote healthiness and happiness
- That I won’t talk negatively about mine or someone elses body, and I will encourage my daughters to do the same
- That if they can, to pass on this message to their friends
This will be the third year that I have written about this subject, and I feel so passionatly about it, as I know many of my readers do too. This year Dove are supporting the launch of a Be Real Body Image Pledge, all about giving girls positive messages against unrealistic portrayals of beauty that they see everyday. They are calling on the advertising, fashion industry, music and media to pledge to change too.
If you are the parent of teenager, I really do recommend that you take advantage of the resources that you can find on the Be Real Pledge Campaign website and well as HERE. It has sparked many conversations with my daughter and I, as we have talked about what influences her, about body confidence and how this can really damage lives. It’s important to reinforce regularly I think, that diversity in our world is what really is the beautiful thing. I also think its important as a Mum of a teen on social media to continue to talk about this subject, even if my corner of the internet is small, I want to make positive impact, and a pledge to change.
Ok, lets looks at some of the stats :
- Every day, women and girls are bombarded with hundreds of messages that subtly change the way they feel about their body and appearance
- According to Dove research, 8 in 10 (78%) UK women and girls think very few real women and girls look like those featured in the media
- In fact, 7 in 10 (74%) UK women and 67% girls believe the media and advertising set an unrealistic standard of beauty most women can’t ever achieve
- The constant bombardment of body-focused images, advertisements and messages has a direct impact on the ability of women and girls to reach their full potential
- 9 in 10 UK women (89%) and girls (85%) with low body-esteem report opting out of important activities, such as engaging with friends and family, participating in activities outside the house, and trying out for a team or club when they don’t feel good about the way they look
- For nearly 60 years, Dove has stood for real beauty. This is why we are working with partners to support the launch of the Be Real Body Image Pledge on November 17th
- Dove believes beauty comes in many shapes, ages, sizes, hair colours and ethnicities
- Dove only uses real women in all advertising and campaigns, and has strict policy on airbrushing and photoshopping
- Dove research shows that 8 in 10 UK women and girls wish the media did a better job of portraying women with diverse physical appearance, and of varying age, race, shape and size
- The Pledge is another example of Dove’s commitment to helping women and girls develop a positive relationship with the way they look
- In 2004, Dove created the Dove Self-Esteem Project to help the next generation of women see beauty as a source of confidence, not anxiety
- To date, Dove has positively impacted the lives of more than 19 million young people around the world, and has reached over two million lives in the UK
Want to learn more?
- www.selfesteem.dove.co.uk &