Teenage girls and high self-esteem are unfortunately not two things that often go together. Girls in their teens may feel uncomfortable about their looks, their weight, academic performance, or relationships with family and friends.
Low self-esteem can make these girls feel incompetent and inadequate and like no one could ever love them. These thoughts create negative views about themselves and the world as a whole, and can create self-defeating behavior as well as faulty assumptions.
Low self-esteem and the negativity that comes along with it can have devastating repercussions, especially for teenage girls.
Girls with low self-esteem are more likely to report taking part in harmful and dangerous activities like smoking, drinking alcohol, cutting themselves, bullying others, or suffering from an eating disorder.
Seventy-five percent of girls with low self-esteem report engaging in these activities as compared to 25 percent of girls who say they have high self-esteem. Low self-esteem can lead to depression, which affects 20 percent of teens before they turn 18.
It can also factor into how teen girls interact with others and engage in daily activities. When girls feel badly about their looks, 60 percent of them choose to avoid their normal activities, which includes going to school, visiting the doctor, playing sports, or even just giving their opinion in a conversation.
It is important to reach girls who do not feel good about themselves, because they will grow into women who do not feel good about themselves. The Dove Self-Esteem Project found that only 4 percent of women feel comfortable calling themselves beautiful.
The people behind the Project realized that the anxiety about one’s looks starts at a very early age, in the tween and teen years. They decided to make it their mission to help girls and women see beauty as a source of confidence as opposed to anxiety.
The Dove Self-Esteem Project started in 2004 as a way to help girls between the ages of 8 and 17 to have a positive relationship with their looks, raise their self-esteem and fulfill all their potential.