By Jamie Reeves / www.divinecaroline.com
Would you believe it if I told you my daughter has already started with that self-bashing all women are guilty of—”I don’t like my hair. I wish it was darker. I wish it was longer.” And she is only six and a half. And this is my girl. My girl who, in my eyes, is absolutely perfect in every way.
When I was contacted in November (yes, I’m painfully slow at getting around to these things) by a representative with Dove’s Campaign for Real Beauty about the findings from Real Girls, Real Pressure: A National Report on the State of Self-Esteem, I agreed to help spread the word because as a mother to two young girls and as someone who has struggled with her own self-confidence demons, this was a topic that hit home. This time of year women, especially, are prone to the “does this make me look fat” talk and the stocking up on Lean Cuisines, myself included. I mean, I can’t tell you how many times I’ve wanted to fling our digital scales into the trash can since the numbers staring back at me every morning just can’t be right. While it’s important to place value on a healthy diet and fitness, it’s also important to step back and look at the signals we send our daughters about the traits we value in ourselves and others.
Commissioned by the Dove® Self-Esteem Fund, the study reveals that there is a self-esteem crisis in this country that pervades every aspect of a girl’s life, including her looks, performance in school, and relationships with friends and family members.
The key findings include:
* Seven in ten girls believe they are not good enough or do not measure up in some way, including their looks, performance in school, and relationships with friends and family members
* 57 percent of all girls have a mother who criticizes her own looks
* More than half (57 percent) of all girls say they don’t always tell their parents certain things about them because they don’t want them to think badly of them