Raising daughters today is a huge responsibility and one I don’t take lightly. There’s so much more peer pressure and so many more images and messages bombarding them today from the media and a great deal of what our kids glean from pop culture is a digitally-enhanced fantasy world. Miss C may only be in 4th grade but already I have picked up on talk of “Mom, does this look OK?” as she surveys herself in the mirror and “Mom, my friend thinks she’s fat!”
Playing sports and being active in Girl Scouts has helped both my girls be a part of something larger than themselves and activities that they can be proud of, as well as make new friends and recognize and appreciate their own unique talents. My mother instilled in me that I could do anything I set my mind to and the words “I can’t” were pretty much banished from my house growing up. Still, as an adult I have my doubts about my self-worth, my skills as a mother and wife, and my own looks. So often, we are our own worse critic, and this seems especially true for women.
A few years ago, when Miss C was just in 1st grade, her teacher told me that she needed to work on her confidence. Instantly I felt that as her mother I had failed her. Today her confidence has grown and I don’t doubt that working with her daily on recognizing her talents (in soccer and beyond) and own uniqueness has played a large role in how she feels about herself.
As a mom to two amazing little girls I am very proud to join Dove as a Dove Champion blog partner for the Dove Self-Esteem Movement! I hope you’ll join me in spending an hour during Dove Self-Esteem Weekend October 21-23 on a self-esteem building activity with the special girls in your life. I’ll be telling you more about my plans with my girls next week, but in the mean time there are some wonderful resources on the Dove Self-Esteem movement website. I’ve already downloaded the guide for self-esteem for mothers and daughters age 8 to 11 and the True You workbook for Miss C and I to look at together.
Here are some eye-opening statistics about girls and beauty and how it relates to self-confidence:
• 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
Let me know in the comments if you’re joining me and why you think this is an important cause and be sure to visit the online pledge map to register your activity!