Beauty-related anxiety is a big problem, and is recognized as an important issue by young people all around the world. When girls hold themselves back because of the way they think they look, society misses out. It may be tempting to believe these pressures are just a natural part of growing up—and some of it is.
The silver lining in all this is that there is plenty we can do to boost self-esteem and body confidence for girls in this age group. We’re committed to helping girls everywhere reach their full potential, so we’ve partnered with the leading researchers and experts in the fields of adolescence and self-esteem to provide tips, resources, and activities.
So, if you’re a teacher, check out our world-class Dove Self-Esteem Project workshop materials; or if you lead a local youth group, we’ve got specially designed resources for youth leaders as well. For any other questions you have on body confidence and self-esteem, try viewing our frequently asked questions.
Well, we’re back and catching our breath after our whirlwind Be Real Tour with Dove last week. Last week at the Bullring Birmingham, Liverpool ONE and Westfield White City we asked people what makes them feel body confident, inviting them to share their thoughts and secrets on social media. Our charming Dove Brand Ambassadors engaged with over 1,000 shoppers throughout the Be Real Tour, and performed free manicures and hand massages on around 400 shoppers of all ages and backgrounds.
International Day of the Girl and the Dove Self-Esteem Project – is your daughter missing out? It was her way of being kind, of trying to boost my self-esteem, but I’m not sure she quite got it. I try to be as positive as possible about my body, no matter how I might actually be feeling. When I went to record a clip for the What I See project I was in a particularly positive mood, as you can see from my video here.
I wish I could say that I didn’t care about body image, that I was totally happy and accepting of my body, but it would be a fib. The most worrying thing is the increasingly young age at which body image becomes an issue for girls and young women, as I talked about recently. There has been a trend recently in the media to try and redress the balance, and change the way we feel about our body image, but to be honest I’m a little cynical. Dove’s latest idea for improving our body image and raising levels of confidence among girls is the Dove Self Esteem Programme, a series of workshops being held in schools throughout the UK, with the aim of reaching a million 11-18 year old girls by the end of 2012.
Over half of all women around the world say they first became aware of the need to be physically attractive between 6 and 17 years of age. One in three people believe a woman is responsible for violence committed against her if she is wearing ‘revealing clothing’.
Have you seen the Dove ad about all the little girls giving up their hobbies because of their body image?

Further research by Dove celebrates the fact that over a third of girls cite their mothers as their role models. Which leads me to my key question – do campaigns like the Dove Real Beauty campaign, or their self-esteem workshops really do anything to tackle issues around body image, or is it a much deeper rooted problem? You can visit the Dove facebook page for more information on their initiatives to improve body image among young women. I saw this story in the Daily Mail today (I was looking for work reasons, not for pleasure), and just had to comment…. October 18, 2014 by Pooky Knightsmith Leave a Comment My colleagues are looking for Year 7 and Year 8 students to take part in a body image research project which could involve workshops and completing a series of brief questionnaires.
You and your school staff have probably witnessed the negative impact that low body confidence can have on young people’s lives, from engaging in risky health behaviours to withdrawing from participating fully in important life activities like trying out for teams and clubs, putting their hand up in the classroom, dancing and swimming, going to parties and even giving an opinion. In 2014, the Centre for Appearance Research at the University of the West of England is conducting a research project to support the development of the Dove Self Esteem Project’s new world-leading healthy body image programme. We have already successfully worked with eleven schools in the UK and an opportunity has arisen for further schools to be involved.
Your students and teachers may also be asked to participate in, and contribute to the further development of, the Dove Self Esteem Project’s new positive body image programme. A tailored report providing a snapshot of body image and self-esteem issues at your school and a detailed summary of the results of the research project. Ongoing free access to body image lesson plans and teacher training resources from the Dove Self Esteem Project. 2 hours of complimentary in-person staff development and training delivered by body image experts from the Centre for Appearance Research on how to deliver our body image lessons and resources to students. A certificate of body image excellence from the University of the West of England and the Dove Self Esteem Project. Get the very latest from Pooky and the Charlie Waller Memorial Trust including blog posts, free resources and updates on child and adolescent mental health. It can be hard to identify and even harder to address, which is why Dove is on a mission to help everyone support young people to be more body-confident.
A global study commissioned by Dove revealed that six out of 10 girls opt out of important activities because they’re worried about the way they look. We want to see a world free of appearance-related anxiety so that girls can grow up to be confident and active members of society.
These will help you better connect with the girls in your life on the issues of body image, self-esteem, and beyond. For parents we’ve got plenty of articles and activities to help you understand the key issues and tackle low body confidence. We were out and about in support of the Be Real Campaign, a national movement to inspire body confidence by changing attitudes to body image. I sell my squidgy tummy as an excellent pillow, and my rather large bottom as a secret defensive weapon in netball matches.
It was because I was in London – going to London always makes me feel all excited and full of potential.

She was a little taller and heavier than me, but proportions wise, it didn’t sound too far off.
I say recently… I just looked it up and the post I wrote about conversations overheard on a school bus is nearly two years old! Are programmes like these just a drop in the multi-million pound ocean that is the beauty industry, or are Dove trailblazers, leading the way for others? I have yet to get the hang of the whole 'having a blogging niche' thing, so expect random musings on everything from my teenage pregnancy experiences to car air fresheners. It’s in partnership with the Centre for Appearance Research at UWE and Dove Self Esteem Project.
By participating in this important and exciting research project your school will be contributing to research that will help to maximise the ability of this programme to positively impact the lives of young people in more than 20 countries across the world.
This would involve fun and interactive lessons for students and body image training resources for your teachers.
She may complain about features such as her skin color or seem generally upset about her looks. And if you’re an aunt or grandparent, or just someone who cares about a girl, why not try our Mindful Me activity guide for a mindful approach to boosting self-esteem.
I know how easily influenced girls are by their mothers, and how what feels like a harmless comment to you can stick with them as they grow up. Plus it wasn’t that long after I got my funky new glasses and I was feeling pretty awesome, like one of those modern social media types. Or do you cling to the dream that if only you were a few pounds lighter, a little bit taller, that all would be well with the world?
Not enough to actually do anything about it of course, but that’s really not the point, as the issue is clearly not a physical one.
Now perhaps it’s just me, but aren’t all of these women actually rather attractive?
The lessons have been designed for girls and boys aged 11-14 years and have been created by world leading experts in body confidence from the Centre for Appearance Research and La Trobe University, in collaboration between teachers and students in the UK.
Maybe you heard her talking about bullies at school or noticed her obsessing over celebrities with impossibly long limbs and Photoshopped bodies— beauty standards that are impossible to achieve. And the negative impact of low body confidence continues later in life, with 17% of women claiming they won’t go to a job interview and 8% missing work on days when they feel bad about the way they look.

The secret in eyes
The secret language of birthdays indigo


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