Wednesday, October 10, 2012
#DoveInspired Movement : Ending Low Self-Esteem in Women and Young Girls
It was two days ago when I received the congratulations email advising that I had been accepted to participate in the #DoveInspired Campaign. If you have not heard about this campaign before, allow me to give you just a small insight of what Dove is doing.
"Dove believes beauty should be a source of confidence, not anxiety. Dove is committed to inspiring all women and girls to reach their full potential. The Dove Movement for Self-Esteem opens up a world of opportunities for women to make a difference."
Are you wondering why Dove has taken this initiative? Please continue reading:
"Anxiety about looks begins at an early age and holds girls back (from reaching
their full potential)
According to Dove global research:
o 72 percent of girls (ages 10-17) feel tremendous pressure to be
o Only 11 percent of girls (ages 10-17) are comfortable using the word
beautiful to describe themselves
o When girls feel bad about their looks more than 60 percent globally (age
15 to 17) avoid normal daily activities such as attending school, going to
the doctor, or even giving their opinion.."
Now that Dove has done the research and is currently working on lowering these statistics, do you feel compelled to reach out to a young girl in hopes of helping her feel beautiful with who she is?
I do. Here is why I believe wholeheartedly in this campaign:
As a child, growing up in an extremely strict household, where we were taught not to be seen or heard, I didn't receive any conviction that I was "good enough" for anything. Both of my parents were very old school in the sense that showing their feelings in front of their children was not a characteristic of being a good parent. It was to be believed (by their actions) that the only way to be a good parent was by enforcing extremely strict rules that were to be followed or else.
Growing up in this type of atmosphere not only impaired my decision making as a teenager but also left me with no self esteem. As far as I can remember, I was always comparing myself to other females; judging myself thinking that if I could be like "fulana de tal" or "so-in-so" I could be such a better person - not knowing that I was perfect just the way that I was.
There laid the problem: I didn't know who I was. Not having the opportunity to
speak freely, think freely and interact with others was a huge setback, a hindrance that I did not realize I had until I was a grown woman; many years after leaving my parents household at the age of 16.
Now as a happily married woman and mother to one daughter, I can look back reflecting on my early years, realizing that by living with a mother that did not show compassion really had a negative effect on both my self-esteem and self respect; resulting in suffering from anxiety and panic attacks now as an adult.
By recognizing this, I have made it a daily mission to show my Lil Diva unconditional love, compassion and support. I always make an attempt, no matter how busy I may be, to speak with her about her day, things that happen in school or just engaging in having a "girl-talk". I cannot stress how much I enjoy doing this with her. Hearing her speak freely about her feelings, thoughts and mistakes truly is the highlight of my day.
To give you an idea, just the other day we were sitting in the office just chatting away, when she told me that during recess someone had called her "fat". When I asked what her reaction was, she looked at me square in the face and said, "Mami, I told her that I am beautiful and perfect just the way I am. That I am not "fat", I am healthy and happy being me." She later expressed that she felt sorry for that other girl because it was evident that she was not a happy person.
In having that short conversation with Lil Diva, it broke my heart. Not only was I proud of how my daughter reacted to the situation itself, I was also happy to hear that my efforts of instilling confidence in herself and in her personal beauty had not gone in vain. But this was not the only reason I had this reaction. It was very sad to hear that another female child acted this way showing signs of her own insecurities.
It is an unfortunate situation, however this is certainly something that can be fixed.
How? It's quite simple actually. If you are a mother, aunt, grandmother, sister, cousin, friend - it doesn't matter - take the time to speak to younger females about beauty; stressing the fact that they are beautiful just the way they are. Doing this can certainly make all the difference, not only to the young lady being spoken to, but it was also have a positive lasting effect on you as well.
Now it's your turn: Become inspired to participate in this campaign by "liking" Vive Mejor on Facebook. You can also go to Vivemejor.com to access free tools, such as the "Let's Talk" Toolkit, that will help you to motivate and inspire a girl in your life. Please don't stop there, visit Vivemejor's main website for more detailed information on how you can become an important part of this wonderful campaign.
This post is being compensated and is in collaboration with Dove and Latina Bloggers Connect. The opinions stated here are 100% my own.