Raising daughters in a world filled with photoshopped magazine covers and cyber-bullying means girls can feel overwhelming for a mom. As a mother to three young daughters, my heart breaks when I see stories of teens posting videos on Youtube asking strangers on the internet if they are prettyÃ‚Â because for whatever reason, they don’t feel confident enough within themselves.
You can imagine what this practice opens them up to. More often than not, they aren’t getting the positive feedback they are hoping for and it’s just viciousness. I can’t imagine what would bring them to the point of needing to post a video asking for this feedback, but it is just so heartbreaking to me.
Occasionally, I see positivity happening though, to combat this negativity going on. I see things like the Finding Kind campaign, spearheaded by two teens aimed at helping girls respect one another more, which is fantastic and so inspiring. Then there’s the more recent commitment by Seventeen Magazine to show real, minimally doctored photographs of their girls and to use models of varying sizes, ethnicities and looks – which I think is a necessary step forward in the publishing world.
When I see these things happening, I’m encouraged and optimistic that I can use them as tools to steer my daughters in a more positive direction.
Another campaign that I love, which is run by a larger company, is the Real Beauty campaign by Dove. It is their consistent commitment to educate and then empower women about how the media affects our perceptions of beauty. Each year, they work to shed light on issues we face with unrealistic standards in beauty as well as the harsh reality that most women do not feel good in their own skin.
More recently, they put out a video that I found…well…sad. It featured a statistic stating that 6 out of 10 girls will stop doing what they love because they feel bad about how they look. Things like gymnastics, swimming and dancing were included in this list. But Dove is trying to assist with that through their self esteem programs which is so encouraging.
They even offer online toolkitsÃ‚Â where you can find a series of activities that you can do with your daughters based on age to help boost their self-esteem. And for those of your girls who are logged into the Internet already, they even have a guide to help them log-off when the digital drama starts to happen, which I think is fantastic.
Dove is also running a campaign that focuses on real beauty with age, and I like that we’re starting to see the honoring of each stage of our lives from youth on into our later years. I think it’s important to enjoy each stage and I do believe we get better with age. Check out these ladies from this new documentary Advanced StyleÃ‚Â - fabulous at 80? Why not?
Beauty can be at all ages and that sentiment starts in our youth. I’m encouraged by Dove’s Campaign and I hope to use it as a tool with my girls as they get old enough to have those conversations with me.
How will you teach your daughters to be confident and comfortable in their own skin? What tools will you utilize?