Being a kid might seem all carefree and easy, but struggling with anxiety or low self-confidence doesn't have an age limit. Kids grapple with how to overcome these feelings, and it's up to the adults in their lives to guide them through. The Dove Self-Esteem Project can help make this process just a bit easier for girls and parents alike.
Think back to your own childhood for a moment. Put yourself back in your 12-year-old body. Do you remember wondering what the heck was going on? "Where did that hair come from?" "Why is there a mountain of a pimple erupting on my shoulder?"
It was downright confusing, uncomfortable, and just plain tough in my own head as I tried to navigate my body's changes, so I can only imagine what girls today are faced with. Between social media comparisons, targeted advertising with flawless models, and plenty of major stars who look like they just stepped off of a runway instead of out of a middle school gym class, girls are getting mixed messages everywhere they look.
The Dove Self-Esteem Project aims to change that by equipping young women with the tools they need to reach their full potential. "For more than 15 years, we’ve been helping parents, mentors, teachers, and youth leaders deliver self-esteem education that’s reached more than 60 million young people so far, with the commitment to reach 250 million young people by 2030," the company states.
Knowledge is power, and the Dove Self-Esteem Project is absolutely full of it. Article after article on their website provides information for parents, teachers, mentors, and kids themselves on a myriad of topics to address body image issues and instill confidence to overcome anxiety.
A handy search feature on the Dove Self-Esteem Project website makes it easy to sort resources by topic and age group. Want to talk to your 8-year-old about peer pressure? Simply select the topic and age group you're looking for in the drop-down menu in the search feature and you have a wealth of information at your fingertips to help kids tackle tough topics.
There are even several activities included on the site that adults can help guide the kids in their lives through to promote confidence or deal with body image. PDF pages like the Draw Positivity page gives parents and their girls sentence prompts to complete — which promote self-positivity — along with a special space for girls to draw what they might look like as a superhero. Also included are entire lesson plans for workshops that community leaders and teachers can use to help cover topics like bullying and self-esteem with their students.
A similar initiative the Dove Self-Esteem Project previously launches was Girl Collective, which its website describes as "a sisterhood that builds body confidence and challenges beauty stereotypes for all women and girls" through live events and a Facebook group. Through these events and online connection, women were able to collectively take action to empower and raise the self-esteem of girls and women everywhere.
Game-changing women, including television mega-producer Shonda Rhimes, spoke at the first live Girl Collective event hosted by the Dove Self-Esteem Project to inspire more than 200 girls. When a creator and thinker like Shonda Rhimes is on board with a program, you know women and girls will shine.
For more than 15 years, the Dove Self-Esteem project has reached more than 60 million youth. Partnerships with programs like the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts help to ensure that girls throughout the entire world are provided with resources and education to promote self-acceptance and foster self-esteem. Through their continued work providing online resources for parents and mentors, live events, and social media outreach, the Dove Self-Esteem project stands to help even more kids learn to successfully navigate tough topics in their life with confidence.