Today I want to talk to the parents of daughters. Not that little boys don’t have the same issues or aren’t as important, but today I really want to concentrate on little girls. Let’s face it, girls can be extra cruel.
I’ve been putting this post off for a couple of days now. When Dove approached me about taking part in their Self-Esteem weekend I immediately said yes. Then I sat down 4 days ago to write this article and just ended up staring at the computer screen. I’ve tried every day since, but I just couldn’t get the words to come out.
Growing up I had the worst Self-Esteem. Didn’t we all? Like most, I wasn’t comfortable in my own skin. I didn’t have the ability to ignore the harmful words and actions of others. It wasn’t until I was in my late 20′s that I actually started to like myself! This is absolutely the last thing I want for my beautiful daughter.
Dove® research shows that it is still important for us to address girls’ anxiety about looks, as there is a universal increase in beauty pressure and a decrease in girls’ confidence as they grow older. Key findings from our latest research include:
• Only 4% of women around the world consider themselves beautiful (up from 2% in 2004)
• Only 11% of girls globally are comfortable using the word beautiful to describe themselves
• 72% of girls feel tremendous pressure to be beautiful
• 80% of women agree that every woman has something about her that is beautiful but do not see their own beauty
• More than half (54%) of women globally agree that when it comes to how they look, they are their own worst beauty critic
SOURCE: Dove Research: The Real Truth About Beauty: Revisited
These number were not only surprising to me, but they are heartbreaking! So how do we change these numbers? We start with our daughters!
Here are a few things you can start doing today!
1. Don’t complain about your weight or the way you look in front of your children! Show them the health choices you’re making. Make sure they see you taking care of yourself.
2. Don’t point out the flaws in others! Make sure you compliment others in front of your children.
3. Compliment your daughter daily. Let her know that she’s beautiful. Compliment her on her healthy choices. Compliment her on her kindness. Don’t forget to tell her how smart she is!
4. Let’s face it, kids get in trouble. Why not try and remind them of all the positive things they’ve done that day as well as correcting them. I’m a time out kind of Mom. After I let Ellie out of time out I remind her I love her and give her a few examples of the good things she’s done that day as well.
5. Have a conversation about self-esteem with your daughters. Let them know they too can help these numbers improve!
6. Hug her daily!
These are 6 small, simple things we can do that will make a huge difference in our daughters lives!
Now, why don’t you join other women across the county now. Dove is holding a nationwide rally to talk about beauty, confidence and self-esteem. Commit to talk to the girl in your life during the weekend and beyond. It all starts with a conversation. So join Dove on Facebook and send a note of confidence.
Don’t forget to follow Dove on Twitter as well.
Disclosure – I am being compensated for this post. That in no way changes my feeling on this very important subject.