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Dove Releases New Research That Proves 1/2 of Young Girls Are Suffering Low Self Esteem

By Cleverbuttons @cleverbuttons

Hi All,

Firstly happy International Day of the Girl – finally a day when we can be proud to be a girl and everything that entails. Sadly though, it seems that there are many of us out there, that are not at peace with themselves and it is potentially setting them back.

It is not a new phenomenon, it has taken me 20+ years to feel comfortable in a bikini and this is only down to hours in the gym and pool. It really wasn’t until last year that I realised that I simply didn’t need to worry about the size of my bottom or how my tummy looked in a certain light; life is too short.

But at 18 you just don’t see that. No you see parts we are told are ‘too fat’ or ‘too thin’, things that the media are all too quick to point out! Even now I can quickly revert back to my teenage self and feel that crippling self loathing about my body that affects millions of us, the difference is that I no longer let this control what I do!

self esteem

I have held the Dove Real Beauty campaigns to high esteem over the past few years and they have come through once again, with some research that proves that we have a real issue with body image in the UK. It isn’t surprising to me that this is the case, but it is nice that a major company is doing something to raise awareness of a feeling that can literally cripple you with fear – I should know!

So what are the findings?


The Dove Self-Esteem Project and Girlguiding announce partnership to tackle the issue head on

  Friday 11th October, 2013: 47% of 11-14 year old girls are opting out of everyday activities such as swimming and speaking up in class because they don’t like how they look*. The findings are revealed by the Dove Self-Esteem Project (DSEP) on International Day of the Girl and come as Dove announces a partnership with Girlguiding that aims to boost low self-esteem through a body confidence workshop and badge.

 British girls admit to missing out on a range of activities including: swimming (34%)*, performing in a school play (32%)*, dancing (28%)*, putting their hand up in the classroom (23%)* and even attending a friend’s birthday party (9%)*.  With nearly half of girls (46%)* feeling the pressure to look beautiful, which starts as young as 8 years old*, DSEP and Girlguiding want to ensure that girls feel empowered so that they have the confidence that they need to realize their full potential.

The body confidence badge is set to reach more than 400,000 UK girls and 3.5 million girls globally. The purpose of the badge is to educate girls on the importance of self-esteem whilst providing them with a badge that they can wear with pride.

The partnership between DSEP and Girlguiding is being announced on International Day of the Girl to highlight how low body confidence is an issue specifically affecting British Girls. A variety of activities to highlight the issue of girls missing out will take place at the Southbank Centre in London throughout the day including self-esteem workshops and talks from inspirational women, including Mumsnet founder Carrie Longton.

A ‘Missing Out’ art installation on the Riverside Terrace at Southbank Centre has also been created by the DSEP and Southbank Centre to draw attention to the impact of low self-esteem in young girls.   From the 9th-13th of October, passers-by will be able to obtain information about the project, whilst reading statistics that highlight how many girls have missed out on activities. People will also be encouraged to share their own ‘missing out’ stories by writing their stories and messages of inspiration directly onto the installation.

dove campaign

Girlguiding Chief Executive, Julie Bentley, said: “We’re thrilled to be working with the Dove Self-Esteem Project to promote self-esteem in young girls, which is a huge issue that is impacting on the quality of young girls’ lives.  Through the creation of this badge, we’re hoping to help girls realize their full potential and feel better about their bodies and the way they look.”

Lucy Attley, Dove UK & Ireland Brand Director: “Lack of self-esteem is leading to girls missing out on activities and society missing out on the contributions these activities could bring. The aim of the Dove Self-Esteem Project is to help make girls unstoppable by overcoming poor body confidence and our partnership with Girlguiding in the UK enables us to positively influence thousands of young girls and help put a stop to them missing out on simple everyday activities because of how they feel about their bodies.”

Dove UK Research: Summary of Key Findings

What girls are missing out on because they don’t like how they look:

•  Swimming (34%)*
•  Running or jogging (22%)*
•   Gymnastics (17%)*
•  Joining team sports or activities (23%)*
•  Attending a friend’s birthday party or social event (9%)*
•  Going to the beach with a friend (9%)*
•  Putting their hand up in the classroom (23%)*

Mentors who girls feel is the person most likely to persuade them to take part in activities

•  Their mom (49%)*

•  Their friends (23%)*

•  Their dad (10%)*

The age when girls start to feel the pressure to look beautiful

•  8 (7%)*

•  9 (11.4%)*

•  10 (23%)*

•  11 (27%)*

The one piece of advice that 11-14 year girls would give to other girls their age is

•  Don’t compare yourself to others (26%)*

•  Don’t worry about your appearance- you are beautiful as you are (19%)*

•  Don’t feel pressured to conform to society’s view of what beauty is (16%)*

•  Surround yourself with friends and family who will love and support you (16%)*

self esteem 2

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