Friday, November 14, 2008

Real Girls, Real Pressure: How are our daughters handling it all?

You may remember the Campaign for Real Beauty, in which Dove--the people I always turn to for my soaps and body wash,etc.--put real women in their ads as an attempt to encourage young women and let them know that you don't have to be anorexic to be beautiful.

It was a noble goal, and, judging by the alarming statistics from the Dove Self Esteem Fund, one we still desperately need to work on for the sake of our girls.

Did you know, for instance, that seventy percent of girls surveyed, that's seven out of every ten adolescent girls feel that they don't measure up in some way, whether it's looks, relationship troubles or problems with school that make them feel that way? And what's even more alarming is that many of these girls are reacting to their feelings of low self-worth by acting out recklessly and engaging in dangerous behaviors.

It might help to know that, despite that depressingly large number, there's still hope out there, and it comes from the young women themselves. According to the Dove Self Esteem fund, "The top wish among girls is for their parents to communicate better with them, including more frequent and more open conversations, as well as discussions about what is happening in her life."

Dove is encouraging all of us to reach out to our daughters, and to all young girls, and they are leading the way by launching an initiative to reach 5 million girls globally by 2010. Their self-esteem outreach efforts include workshops for adolescent girls all over the country--coming up in just a couple weeks are not one but two in my area alone, and I am planning to attend one!--which focus on positive self-image.

What can you do to help in this national campaign by the Dove Self Esteem fund, or even just in your own home? I'm so glad you asked! ; ) I encourage you to visit, where you can download FREE tools for self-esteem building with your own girls, including: True You and Mirror, Mirror booklets; Interactive exercises; and a Workshop Facilitator Guide DVD.

With your help, we can all help girls see their real potential!

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