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Home » Blog » Self-esteem and our tweens – let’s talk about it

Self-esteem and our tweens – let’s talk about it

This post may contain affiliate links. Read my disclosure policy.

Powered by Mom wants to talk about building our girls’ self-esteem

Whether they are 5, 15 or 20 almost every female out there could use some encouragement of some kind to help build up their self-esteem. I’ve read that anxiety about beauty can start at an early age in girls and I’ve been a witness to it in various proportions with girls I know or in our family. It’s time to talk and build more self-esteem in all our girls!

You’ll see more about this later in the article but I don’t want any of you to miss the opportunity to download this free toolkit (no obligation of any kind required) to help us all to talk about building self-esteem in girls get the Let’s Talk Toolkit!

Here are some shocking statistics did you know this? Let’s talk!

  • Only 4% of women around the world consider themselves beautiful (up from 2% in 2004)
  • Only 11% of girls globally are comfortable using the word beautiful to describe themselves
  • 72% of girls feel tremendous pressure to be beautiful
  • 80% of women agree that every woman has something about her that is beautiful but do not see their own beauty
  • More than half (54%) of women globally agree that when it comes to how they look, they are their own worst beauty critic

I was shocked by those statistics until I reflected on it a bit and realized that yes I too have been my own worst beauty critic. Even now I sometimes find I criticize myself however what does stop me from doing this is that I don’t want my daughter to be that way. My 11 year old daughter Sian is very confident about most things and I want her to continue to be that way so I stop my self-criticism as I don’t want her doing that to herself. What kind of role model would I be if I’m trying to build her self-esteem but yet criticize my own looks? It’s amazing how becoming a mom helps to change our view on things like this. I always try to stop myself and her when we start to criticize our looks it’s not always easy but it’s important. As I said Sian is a fairly confident child however I think all girls still need support and encouragement with their self-esteem and for Sian it comes with her worrying about being smaller than other girls her age.

We tell her that her size does not matter but it’s her strength of character, her caring nature and always being the first one to help someone out that shines through. We say that most people notice that and they don’t care about her size which hey great things come in small packages anyways right? She always loves that line but in all seriousness we know it’s sometimes hard for her especially at this age when a lot of the girls she knows tower a good few feet or more over her and are maturing physically as girls do. I think this is age is a tough one for girls where they start to mature but those who mature at a slower rate sometimes feel left behind.

When I learned about Dove®  being committed to inspiring all women and girls to reach their full potential and their Movement for Self-Esteem where they invite all women to join us in creating a world where beauty is a source of confidence, not anxiety, I had to jump on board to help spread the word! I love that they have a Self-Esteem Wall everyone girl should have a self-esteem wall where and/or anyone that knows them talks about their wonderful qualities like being kind.

It has inspired me and even though I thought we were building Sian’s self-esteem which we were I realize now that we could be doing even more. So if like me you’d like to help build the self-esteem in a girl you know a good place to start is to download the free Let’s Talk Toolkit because any time is a good time to start that conversation with that girl about beauty, confidence and self-esteem. We want them to think of beauty as their character and qualities not their outer appearance and I truly believe that when they are beautiful on the inside it will shine through on the outside.

Created with Jess Weiner, Dove Global Self-Esteem Ambassador, this is a great resource for all women on starting a conversation in a simple way. Ask, Share, Listen and Act — you’ll find unintimidating ways to do make these a natural part of your talk about Self-Esteem.”. Feel free to check out Dove on Facebook where you can find out more information on Dove and this wonderful campaign.

Let’s build our girls’ self-esteem!

 

Disclosure

This article is sponsored by Dove

 

By on November 1st, 2012

About Powered by Mom

I’m Michelle aka Powered by Mom. I’m married with one daughter, my hubby was my high school sweetheart, our two dogs Nyx and Cleo and our cat Oliver. As you can see we’re a family of animal lovers. We love to travel when we can, try different food and activities all over the world and enjoy being together. My passions are writing, travelling, creating new recipes, encouraging people to adopt not shop and just to enjoy life while we can.

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265 thoughts on “Self-esteem and our tweens – let’s talk about it”

  1. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, so I think it is okay not to be beautiful. I have other good qualities. And it is not that I think my body is wretched. I don’t hate it. I love it and think it is desirable. I just don’t think it is beautiful, and don’t think that is a problem.

    A real part of the problem is the idealism and perfectionism. We tell our daughters that they ARE beautiful, kind, smart, etc. At some point they will be self aware enough to realize they are flawed, they could be more beautiful, more kind, smarter and then they start to feel bad that they are not because we’ve told them that they are. We should say it is okay to not be beautiful, smart, to make mistakes and not always be kind. We all are loveable and good even in our weakness and imperfection.

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  2. What a great topic! We have 3 girls and this is a major issue for our oldest, 10 years old, right now. Thank you for bringing up this topic!

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  3. This is an amazing post, which I agree with – I know I in on way think of me as beautiful at all. Never have. I love that Dove is getting in on the movement to know every woman is beautiful. Love!

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  4. This is an awesome movement for Dove! I have 3 girls and I remind them everyday that they are perfect just the way they are. Kids in school are so cruel and I try to teach my kids everyday to compliment others and not to feed into the negativity. I am so surprised how early it starts …

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  5. wow some crazy stats,,,I have 3 daughters and I always tell them they are beautiful and can be anything they want and to be their own person and not worry what others say…but i know its hard on them.

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  6. It may be weird but I was not shocked by the statistics at all. All of my life I have had self esteem problems along with many of my close friends. It is sad that girls have to feel like they should look like the people that they see on tv although that is not reasonable at all. We need to help girls know that being there best selfs is enough.

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  7. Wow, those are sobering statistics. I’d really love a world where we got away from the focus on a single concept of (Westernized, often unobtainable for many women) ‘beauty’ and instead celebrated diversity.

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  8. Those are some sad statistics, I have instilled self confidence ans self esteem in my daughters since they were young, though I must admit now that they are becoming young women it is alot harder to keep their self esteem up, due to all they see around them on tv and at school, but my girls are very strong minded and grounded. They don’t let too much get to them.

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  9. I always tried to make sure my daughter knew that we valued her as a unique person. Her qualities go WAY beyond her beauty! She’s independent, smart, funny, creative AND beautiful She’s 22 now, I think that she’s a very well-rounded person.

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  10. and this is why i praise god i have boys cause when they hit teenage years i dont know how i would handle this and bless the moms who raise there daughters to believe they are wonderful no matter the shape or size

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  11. i am going thru this with my daughter..she is 8 going on 18 and is constantly asking me if she is fat or if she is ugly..i try to tell her every day that she is loved and shouldn’t worry about what kids in school say..kids in school can be so mean!! she is not fat or ugly by the way, but what kids say or do really matter when ur a child in 3rd grade!!

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  12. What a beautiful child!
    Self-Esteem is very important to have!
    I grew up with the lowest there possibly is, following my sister and aunt a few years older than me, never taught anything, made fun of by my sister constantly and still suffer from it!
    She always put me down because of jealousy, come to find out and still to this day does at 37.
    My dad and mom were never there.
    I have one friend that is my fiance thousands of miles away and barely leave the house.

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  13. I absolutely love this blog!!!! I wish there were more ppl out there like you!! I raised my girls to always no matter what know that they are #1 no matter what any1 else says or thinks, I tried raising them w/ good values and esteem!!

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  14. I think all children are beautiful. I try not to tell little girls that they are beautiful though. I would rather tell a child that they are well behaved, kind, considerate, well spoken, intelligent, or any number of other things before I say they are pretty. I suffer with my own insecurities and hope that the little girls in my life are confident and at ease with themselves.

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  15. It is so awesome that Dove is helping to build up young women’s self esteem. I know that this is benefiting so many young girls and I know it would have helped me growing up.

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  16. Sadly, the statistics don’t surprise me. I think it’s so important to tell every young girl that beauty is so much more than a number on the scale or a reflection in the mirror. Every girl should be know that theyr’e beautiful.

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  17. It’s so sad to hear these statistics. I do believe they are true though because I’ve always felt the same way about myself growing up. I have a little daughter and I hope that she will grow up loving herself and believing herself to be beautiful.

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  18. I agree that we are our own worst critic! However, we shouldn’t be so hard on ourselves because what matters is not what others see or think of us but rather how we think of ourselves and how we view ourselves. We need to all start feeling a little more comfortable in our own skins and teaching our children this as well! Media is way out of control on image and how important it is that others view us.

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  19. It is definitely important to talk about this. Even with awareness of media and how they portray unrealistic images, girls and women are still feeling the pressure to be just a little skinnier, just a but taller, etc. it’s a daily struggle and it is important to help those around you see their own beauty, whether it be inside or out.

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  20. Those statistics are just awful. It is definitely true im sure not one person can honestly say that at some point in their life they weren’t happy about how they look or weren’t confident it is definitely important to boost their self esteem.

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  21. I’ve probably said it before, but I really love this information being passed around. It bothers me that people didn’t see this sooner. The effects on girls can be tremendous and people just now seem to be doing something. That alone amazes me, but I am grateful for it.

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  22. I hope I am being a good role model and teaching my daughter that looks are not what matters. I encourage so many things that are good for her and try to always say the most positive things so that health is what she hears and not appearance. It is so hard to get past all the imagery and advertising but I make sure that every day she hears how beautiful she is inside and out!

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  23. I love that your daughter is confident and is reminded that size doesn’t matter and that her character is what’s important. I’m in my 30’s and am constantly telling myself negative things about my appearance. I know that most if not all my friends do the same. I feel that we as adult women should be told that we are beautiful and to focus more on your character than your size.

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  24. Love this, couldn’t agree more! I tell my daughter (almost 4) all the time how beautiful she is, inside and out. And I also tell my son (9) that he is handsome, smart, funny & caring. It’s important for them to know that they are beautiful as a person not just in looks.

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  25. I had my own Sister and two Brothers make fun of me because i was Chubby..Then in the Summer of 11th Grade i became Anorexic.I Battled it for 27yrs!! I weighed only 89 pounds,and i wore a size 16 in the Kid’s dept. I also lost my 1st Baby Girl and it was 3 days till my due date.She was only 2lbs 5oz’s.My Life is noe Hell because i have over 16 Diseases and 3 are Brain Diseases.I know all about Self Esteem problems!! But i’d love to help out Teen’s with Eating Disorders so No One ends up like me.I had a Stroke too..If anyone out there has a idea how i could help out Kid’s let me know?? I’d love to have a Blog all about Anorexia but i don’t know how to start.Thank You for this Awesome Giveaway!! I’d Cherish these boot’s if i Won 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

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  26. Being the mom of a beautiful 2 year old little girl, this article really hit home! I tell my daughter every day how beautiful she is, how smart she is, how kind she is, ect. .and so does my husband. We really feel that positive reinforcement is key to helping our children (our 2 year old daughter and 9 year old son) grow up to be happy, confident adults! I’m happy to see that such a large company like Dove is committed to helping children in such a positive way!

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  27. I have always struggled with self esteem and I think it is so important to build up young women’s self esteem. It is so awesome that a well known company like Dove is helping build self esteem in women. This was a great post. Thank you so much for sharing!

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  28. I’ve struggled with self-esteem problems and tried raising up my daughter to love herself. At the age of 20 I’m very proud of my beautiful daughter. She loves herself and is the best daughter I could have.

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  29. Wow, I can write a book on this. I have a 10 year old girl in 5th grade. She is the tallest & slightly overweight. Her classmates are so cruel. I cant tell you the number of times she has come home crying because of a mean comment.This also happens with my youngest son, in 3rd grade.He comes home crying all the time because of cruel kids. He isnt overweight or taller than the others. I just dont understand why. I make sure they wear the best I can get for them, I do go to yrdsales and thrift stores. I have been to the school 4 times this year over bullies. I just dont know what to do. I do believe it starts at home. They know if I EVER hear of them making fun of anyone for anything, they will be in more trouble than they ever dreamed of. It is so sad what kids go through. My mother said she cried everyday after she got off the bus because of mean kids making fun of her weight. Please teach your kids The Golden Rule is the ONLY way to live.

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  30. I find it really refreshing to see such a major big name company taking initialtive to help our children. Afterall, the smallest souls can have the greatest impact! ESPECIALLY when empowered! <3

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  31. Really think this is so important! Have always told my two Daughters how beautiful & how they can do anything they want if they put their mind to it……very important topic!

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  32. I for one come from a long line of very strong woman. I have always taught my twin daughters to like, love and respect themselves. To never give into peer-pressure, to be leaders not followers. I am very proud of them both for being who they choose to be and not what the “so called” in crowd wanted them to be. I’ll never forget when they were in high school. One day on the playground during PE. one of the other teens threw a ball and hit another boy that was somewhat challenged. My twins turned around to the owner of the school and told him to his face “You saw that, now what are you going to do?”. They have always stuck up for those less fortunate.

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  33. you know, looking back I realized one of the hardest things in my life was making a friend. Your “so called friends” would get you in trouble. A real friend would keep you out of it. 1 thing that amazes me that no matter what kind of day you were having a friend would make you feel better. One of the issues I had with my self esteem was I have a strawberry birthmark on the left side of my face. It’s very obvious. It use to amaze the doctors when I’d go because when they checked out my ears they found that my birthmark was on my eardrum. But the worse part of having it was the questions. Whats that on the side of your face? Did you get burned? It took my adult years to have it not bother me anymore.

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  34. Kudos for such an empowering topic! Self esteem issues can be put to rest really before they begin and starting a conversation is the key!! Thank you so much for writing about this!!!

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  35. Our society has given us continual mixed messages though commercials & magazine ads. “Be yourself!”…. but only if you fit the mold of *XYZ* . It’s sad! This si a great program & the younger we can instill strong self value in our girls, the more it will be likely to stay & they can, in turn, affect other girls around them 🙂

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  36. Society and the media have tried very hard to define what “beautiful” is. Our daughters must learn that beauty is not just what a person looks like but their heart, the way they act, etc. Not only must we teach our daughters this but we also must teach our sons so that they see real beauty in our daughters.

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  37. I have always had issues with self-esteem. I am very careful to not say anything negative about my own appearance n from of my daughter, as I don’t ever want her to feel the way I have fro as long as I can remember. Thanks for informing me about the toolkit. Off to check it out!

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  38. Those statistics are horrid! We had clics and mean girls back when I went to school, but I really think they have gotten more physical and more mean lately. I am so glad I don’t have any teenagers. It must be rough being a teen these days.

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  39. I am so happy to see that you are aware of this subject. Most mother’s do not realize this even though the mom’s are insecure at one time or another they do not think about it when they have a daughter. I am puzzled over this. as my Mom was very insecure, I see it now. I was also insecure. I believe it is because my Mom was. Also if you are insecure you tend to get the same “JUNK” from life time and time again.
    I went through a nasty divorce in 1987, I have never remarried. I know that I will find the wrong person..

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  40. I believe that self esteem is very important. It is feeling good on the inside with what we have on the outside. It’s not about having a pretty face, it’s about having a kind heart .

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  41. Children have become meaner and meaner, it’s no wonder there are so many self-esteem issues. What’s worse is that most of the children have not formed their opinions on their own. I have seen many parents who are proud of their children for picking on or fighting with other kids. Cruelty is a learned behavior.

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  42. Such and important topic. God has made each and every person on this earth unique. It is sooo important to convey that to everyone, especially our girls! My daughter will grow up knowing that she is loved and beautiful and that is proven in that fact that the Bible tells us that God cares so much for us that He knows how many hairs are on our heads. I don’t know about you, but that means he does a lot of recounting each day, that is amazing to me! I know I am beautiful, in and out!!! Let’s all make sure every one in our lives knows that too!

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  43. This is a good message-I know that my self-esteem is rock bottom..and I’m 52! It is so important to raise this issue with girls in our lives, thank you!

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  44. With an almost 5 year old dd who started preschool this year and is finally around other girls her age, I can’t believe how she all of a sudden wants to be like every other girl in her class! She has always been one to strike out on her own and do her own thing. Now it’s so and so has this – can I get (whatever) too? She knows she’s beautiful (which may be a problem in a few years! LOL) and will even go around saying I am so beautiful – I just hope she never loses that confidence!

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  45. Unfortunately this is all true. I tried to raise my daughter to be happy with who you are and not who other people think you should be. She is trying to do the same with her two daughters. It is very hard to do in today’s society.

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  46. As a mom of daughters, I try to never make critical comments about my looks or my body. I want to role model body acceptance and a focus on character rather than appearances.

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  47. Although I have a son, I am completely on board with this project they have. We could all, even as adults, benefit from strengthening our self-esteem for all of our children in general 🙂 The self-esteem wall is a fantastic idea! I do have a lot of cousins & friends with daughters ranging from about 6yrs-17yrs old. I know this could be a useful tool for them & I will pass it along. Thank you! Sian is just lovely <3

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  48. It’s very important that confidence building (not just outward physical appearance) begins at home while raising our children. If they are told they are love, beautiful, smart, capable and have immense worth, they are going to believe it, and live it. The self criticism that I see so many women fall accustom needs to stop. If children see their parents being overly critical of their appearance, it’s a no brainer that the kiddos will also begin to behave in a similar way. It’s our jobs as parents to set the tone for our households and our children and family and grow a family where love, acceptance and kindness is the focus.

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  49. What a great article. Self esteem and girls is a topic that isn’t talked about enough. Girls no matter how they look should be taught they are beautiful no matter how they look. Without teaching our girls this we stand the chance of having them feel bad about themselves and this should never happen it just isn’t a good thing in the life of a growing female.

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  50. woops – I meant to add something to my post (I’m the “little” person who can relate to your daughter). Also, for many, many years, I always wore high heels even around the house. However, as my true self esteem developed and I started becoming active, I changed over to flats. In fact, lovin’ workboots is symbolic of self esteem for someone who was so desperate to be a little taller I would even run in 5″ heels!!! So, I am finally self-assured to be small in a world of much bigger people – flats and all!!!

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  51. I could relate to this post because I am very small person, and by the time I was eleven, I was all through growing, confirmed by my doctor. It did make self-esteem harder, esp as other girls started growing and developing. My mom always gave me lots of assurances, but it wasn’t until I was a little older and I started working at a lawfirm, and there were several high-powered women who commanded authority, even though they were very small. I agree that being around people with self-esteem helps greatly, but it is easier if you can sense self esteem in someone you are identifying with (ie another short person). People do make quick assessments, and things such as posture, your gait, body language, etc., all contribute to feeling empowered. I would suggest taking part in physical programs that develop strength, balance, something. I could be dance, karate, soccer, gym, yoga, whatever appeals.

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  52. I believe that we should build our daughters self esteem early in life because there are some mean people out there. I want my daughter to be able to handle herself in life against people who are willing to make others unhappy just because they are. Bullies are becoming younger and younger these days and if a girl has no self esteem they are easy targets. I tell my daughter everyday that she is beautiful, smart, and lovable. I have issues about myself and I tell her that loving herself is important. And when people try to insult her she tells them thats their opinion and not hers and thats the only opinion that matters.

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  53. It’s actually sad that girls and young ladies are having self esteem problems. The world has become a cruel place where a 10 year old girl is worried about what she looks like and how she dresses and how much income her family has. 🙁

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  54. I raised my daughter to know she is smart, confident, and beautiful from the inside out. She knows, you can be beautiful on the outside and still be ugly. It’s how you think and treat people that counts….

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  55. I really enjoyed reading this, self esteem is very important , I agree that t.v. has a great infulance on eveyones image of what we are suppose to look like, what we are suppose to wear, ect ect ect. I say” Be yourself “, there is only one you in this entire world, so dress, act and look how you feel you should for no one knows you better than yourself..
    p.s. love the self esteem board idea, I am going to make one for our kids..

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  56. I have a 14yo daughter who thought she was fat and refused to eat for awhile, We had to have a sit down heart to heart with her because honestly she was wayyy too skinney and we still stuggle with her not wanting to eat when we asked her what was going on she told us that a friend of hers said she was fat she’s 5’8 and weighs 85 pounds at the time so reading this I am seriously happy to hear Dove is doing this

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  57. I have 2 granddaughters 4 & 10. Right now not so worried about the 4 yr. old but the 10 yr.old is at a stage where she thinks she isn’t pretty & wears the baggy shirts & pants cause. She is a beautiful girl & she is not over weight, We are always letting her know how pretty we thinks she is on the inside & out.

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  58. This is a great post and what Dove is doing as well. I can’t believe only 2% of women consider themselves beautiful! Beauty is not just having the “right ” type of hair, eyes, body etc…it’s about being confident. I believe in teaching by leading the example and all us moms should give the examples to our daughters, nieces, grandaughters..etc that we are confident in our own skin and they’ll follow as well.

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  59. Beautiful article. My daughter is grown now, how I wish this kind of campaign was in effect 40 years ago. Our daughters, grand daughters, nieces, etc. should be taught how unique they all are.

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  60. I just want to say how much I love this information. I have probably read information about this program 3 times on various sites and I promise I learn something new every time.

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  61. Teaching self esteem is such an important issue. I think many times that is forgotten along the way. It’s good to teach that today so that young girls can grow up to be confident and respected women.

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  62. The models are not what an ideal woman looks like. We need to get the message across that every woman is different because of her body type. The media sensationalizes skinny as ideal & its not obtainable for all women.

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  63. kids need to have self confidence. I didnt when I was little for a number of reasons and as a grown up now I see how that has affected my choices in life. Build up your childrens self confidence so they can make good choices in life. dont let them settle for less than they want

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  64. My friend’s daughter i gorgeous & could be a teen model, but she thinks she’s fat & ugly!!! Makes me so sad that sum1 has made her feel that way about herself!!! 🙁 I tell her all the time she’s pretty & she just rolls her eyes @ me & says yea right!!!

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  65. Body image and self esteem unfortunately is influenced by models, tv ads, magazines that show the “perfect” woman, no wonder girls and women today feel such pressure to be what society deems beautiful.

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  66. Self-esteem is such a huge deal in our house…we make sure to teach our daughter the importance of it and do things to help her build it. I think this is great. I will post on my FB page.

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  67. Society needs to spend more time showing that it values what is inside our girls and quit stereotyping what beauty is. It is so true that a great personality will make anyone shine and pull people to them, Also, I know many girls who wear no makeup, wear glasses and are prettier than many models. Not everyone likes the same type, how boring would that be,Girls should make the most of what they are and the world will see how beautiful they all are.

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  68. I wish that more companies would use “real” women and girls in their ads without all the touch ups. These companies make us females feel that we can never be happy of don’t look like the unreal girl in the ad.

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  69. I’m thankful that my girls didn’t have low self esteem when they were growing up. I always did my best to make sure that they never doubted themselves about anything in their lives. It’s so sad to see the effects that low self esteem has on young girls. It can follow them into adult hood and they are literally robbed of their full potential.

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  70. I think that what Dove is doing to help young girls with their self-esteem is so good. We can do our part and make sure that we as parents also give our children unconditional love and support, and encourage them to accept themselves. We need to teach them that we are all different, and not to compare ourselves with others!

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  71. I have 2 Grandaughters that are growing up and worry about them a lot. They are so beautiful too and very smart girls. I raised two boys and it is so different because it seems like boys dont worry about this stuff. If they so they dont let you know. Thanks for t hese tips!

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  72. I am so glad that I entered your contest and this was an entry because I was empowered with what you wrote and I would love to see communities supporting it as well!

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  73. My daughter is 19 and she is short. I talk to her all the time about it’s what’s on the inside that counts and that everyone was created unique for a reason. She is very intelligent, but is so hard on herself for her size. Maybe this will help me help her

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  74. I think this is a really great thing to help young girls with self-esteem issues. I’d love to see other programs that also help boys out with self-esteem issues. I know there are a lot of them that would benefit from this, too.

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  75. I have a 12 year old little girl that has self esteme issues. I will never know why little girls this age have this problem when they are so pretty on the outside and inside. IDK if it’s because of magazines and TV puting out the wrong image of women that are impossible to reach or what. I think the best thing we can do as mothers is reassure them everyday how beautiful they are. I write notes for my girl to find all the time telling her how beautiful she is!

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  76. It is very sad that young girls and women of all ages have such low self esteem. Society has put too much of an importance on looks and now as the years have moved on, girls of every age and race feel that they should have to live up to model like looks and when they arent “perfect” they believe something is wrong with them. Its so sad 🙁

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  77. I’ve had low self esteem for most of my life. It’s something no one should have to deal with. I have two girls and I hope they grow up knowing they have true value and not to worry too much what others say and think. This is a great article. Thanks.

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  78. I’ve become aware of these statistics and wonder how to combat them not only with my own child but with the girls I have hands on opportunity to affect. I have even realized that it is imperative that I consciously examine my relationship with my daughter and the way I communicate with her at this time in her life, when I am at a delicate time in my own life. I believe woman can be the change we need to see.

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  79. Thank you for talking about it. Just talking openly helps us women and girls for feel more empowered and appreciate who we are in and out!

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  80. I see how peer pressure can be so cruel with my niece. She has a facial issue that is now showing up as she is becoming a teenager. She is bullied and teased unmercifully at school. She really is a very pretty girl but it will take a couple of surgeries and a couple of years to fix her jaw. At her age, looking in the mirror and listening to cruel kids keep her from developing the self esteem she needs now. Just sad.

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  81. I just want to thank you for posting this! It could not have been a more perfect night for me to read this post. I understand and follow all that is said here, Self Esteem goes deep with our young girls as they are learning to grow and be like others, When I said grow to be like others it angers me…what happen to being our own person….?? I see many kids form into what they hope others want them to be. It;s sad.
    I am very lucky my daughter is full of confidence, she is a very straight forward 11 year old girl and she is I think a little mature for her age with some goals that she strives to stick to and LOVES to help others. She has a nic thing to say to everyone. I watched all this come tumbling down tonight, Please hear me out without judgement….She went on a 2 day feild trip with her school, got home tonight got off the bus and was hysterical, crying, sobbing and torn,,,I had no idea why??? I asked the super intendent of our school WHAT HAPPENED?? He said I don;t know ask the other teacher when she arrives. OK…WAIT…WAIT. I finally had to leave. Later my daughter calms down enough to tell me. She was told several times that her and her best friend are inappropriate and needed to no longer make any contact with each other, people will get the wrong idea and be offended? I ask what this means….The had there innocence stripped from them because the linked arms, laughed, giggled like girls , and skipped along having fun…the teacher was getting at people are going to thing they were a couple…OMG WHAT she is 11,,,,,I could care less who people grow to love, god made us all the way he wanted us and that is that. She was so torn and hurt that she could not act like a kid….Her self esteem was torn from her…I feel this political stuff is over the top and it should not have been addressed that way. I also feel that all adults should always praise our kids with kind words and such, there is enough bad in the world they have to hear….I praise my daughter day in and day out. I expect the school to keep her safe. Sorry for ranting it was on my mind and reading this made me think about it again…sorry.
    I really enjoyed the positive points of this post!!! 😉

    Reply
    • Wow Amber, thank you for sharing and I can not believe that anyone said that to your daughter and her friend let alone a teacher! That’s ridiculous they were just being girls I can’t get over that. My daughter is also 11 and her and her friends link arms too, just hanging out, having fun chasing each other etc.. for someone to make it more than an innocent thing means there’s something wrong with them in my opinion that’s crazy I don’t usually speak out so strongly like this but I’m astounded. Sorry to hear that happened to your daughter but at least she has a wonderful mother!

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  82. I had a very low self-esteem for many years. I married the first man who asked me, because I thought that I would be an old maid. I then stayed married far too long, because he was able to keep my self-esteem low. He began hitting me and that was it. I am so much stronger and have been able to prove to myself that I am very worthy of great things. I now have a beautiful daughter and am raising her to have a great self-esteem. She is to never put herself above people, but she is absolutely NEVER to put herself below anybody.

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  83. I think that its good that a major brand is doing something to help girls.. I know with my daughter I always tell her that she beautiful . I tell her that shes my princess and she can do anything she ever wants. I wish all moms were like that.

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  84. I want to thank you for this page, I worry about what the girls and boys are trying to say to my 8 yr old. I remember every single hateful thing I was told though out school, and I wasn’t raised with very good self-esteem (was picked on alot). I don’t want my daughter to have to deal with the mean girls and boys, I’m sure they are worse now then what they were when I was in school. As little girls are shown from all sorts of media that thin is beautiful, that its not fine to be fat, and I wish they would of kept models about the same size as Marilyn Monroe she may have not been pencil thin (how they portray the models now) but she was a healthy weight. A lot of the models in magazines are photo shopped which they don’t tell the girls that they do a lot of changes to pictures before they are posted or printed… It’s sad that the media basically forces the girls and boys to judge themselves by there looks..

    I am very thankful for this article and I will use the tools to help prepare my daughters for the harder times and to also let them know that they are perfect just they way they are.. Beautiful Smart Friendly and to try to give them the confidence I didn’t have…

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  85. you hit the nail on the head with this post. i am horrified at these statistics and hope that this weill change soon! i hope my daughter will grow up a strong woman who has great self esteem!

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  86. I’m really happy about Dove’s message. Self esteem issues are so important and not always thought about something we need to instill in young girls.

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  87. Good self esteem is super important for teen girls. It keeps them from getting in with the wrong crowd and engaging in risky behavior to fit in somewhere. Thanks for supporting this issue !!

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  88. This is a fabulous article and the tool kit is great. Girls are just so mean. My daughter is still pretty young, but i will make it a point to keep her self-esteem up. Thanks for the info.

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  89. Yes, I with agree with most of all these comments! It is so very important to raise awareness of these issue these girls face everyday, especially in these days! Sometimes our world can be a horrible place!
    [email protected]

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  90. I was always very lucky to feel “satisfied” in my life. I didn’t have to be the prettiest or the smartest because what I was was good enough. Thanks for the perspective.

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  91. I’m kind of shocked my the statistics, I know young girls go through a stage where they aren’t comfortable with their own bodies and their looks, but I didn’t know that only 4% of women around the world consider themselves beautiful. The media is to blame since they pressure woman to be “sexy” and wear layers of make up when they are already beautiful without fancy clothing or expensive cosmetics. I hope parents take a look at the kit and hopefully woman and young girls begin to realize that they ARE beautiful.

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  92. Only 4% of women think they are beautiful????? These statistics are horrible! I blame media, and magazines.. Btw.. WTG mom for letting your child know its not what is on the outside that matters.. We all get old and full of wrinkles at some point, and the only thing we have left is our character…

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  93. Having two girls myself I do my best to build their confidence and self esteem daily. The statistics are so sad. We have yo all work at changing them.

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  94. I love the approach highlighted in this article. It seems the internet and media has really amped up values that are skewed. I’ve always stressed that who you are is what really counts …and inner beauty is where you shine.

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  95. Beauty comes from inside a person. I have two daughters and i know how some of the girls in school can be mean. Its nice to see Dove doing something else to make a difference in girls lives.

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  96. Low self-esteem has always been an issue with young girls and women. We are pressured to be a certain weight, look a certain way, pressured into having sex. Thank you Dove for this amazing and important program.

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  97. I think being a role model when it comes to self esteem is the best thing that a mom/aunt/sister/grandma can do for girls as they grow up. But let’s not forget little boys! My grandson’s mom has a HUGE self esteem issue and when he was little we could see him starting to worry about how he looked…hair, clothes, all of it (He lives with us now, so no longer an issue). Parents have such an impact on their kids without even knowing it.

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  98. I wish someone would have talked to me about this when I was younger. I grew up thinking I was ugly and too skinny! I’m glad that this is out in the open now and that people will see past the outside of a person.

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  99. Self esteeme is not easy to come by, but if you cant learn to love yourself then you truely can not love someone else. Every girl and woman is a jewel and should be charished and dont let anyone ever say otherwise.

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  100. i’m glad that Dove offers and helps out, i think we all need to take part in building each other up .. females need to know they are worth more than the next beauty line of make-up or that limo.. Beauty comes from within and unless as parents ,grandparents, friends teachers n so on, females will continue to spiral.. WE need to raise our voice up and let them know how much they are worth and they beauty that each one has even though they may look different or talk different n so………..

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  101. You could’t have said it any better. I have three grandchildren and they are growing up too fast but I am teaching them to believe in God. always follow their heart, be modest, try their best in all they do and believe in themselves and they will never go wrong. I always tell them they are beautiful and they have such a beautiful, loving heart , and they do.

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  102. i have struggled with beauty image all my life but not to some people’s extremes. start telling your girls young and always encourage

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  103. I am so glad that girls self esteem issues are finally being brought out in the open and talked about. I sure wish they did back when I was growing up. But it’s never to late to help the next generation of girls.

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  104. I grew up in a different time and age than my girls did…and they of course in a different time and age than their girls are. To much emphasis is being put on a girl/womans’ outside and not what they have to share on the inside. Both of my girls are short in stature and I have always told them that dynamite comes in small packages, as that is what I was told while growing up (I attained a whopping 5’4″ in height). I believe both of my girls have the confidence they need to survive in these cruel times when so many people define beauty by looks, height, weight and body shape. I hope they are able to pass it on to their girls as they grow older and that they won’t become dependent upon compliments from men and other women to define who they are.

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  105. I think it is wonderful what Dove is doing, especially in todays world where TV, magazines, commercials and peers think beauty is all on the outside, they are not taught that beauty comes from within. So many young girls today suffer from self esteem issues, anorexia, bulemia, its so sad and suicide is up, wayyy up!

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  106. I believe this is a struggle with women all their lives. Women can be very cruel to each other and judgemental without even realizing it.

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  107. These are really sad statistics – but not very surprising. there is a lot of pressure (and cruelty) directed and young girls today. it’s nice to see companies and non-profits drawing attention to these issues. i think that anytime you have the chance to tell a child (boy or girl) that they are beautiful, bright and worthy, it is an opportunity not to be missed.

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  108. I am so glad that major companies like Dove are making it their mission to help build girls and womens self images and self esteeem!

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  109. Good subject and article. Always trying to tell the young girls that they are special. They don’t need anyone to
    tell them what they are worth. They are all precious and special in the eyes of God. He is the main one to
    want to please.

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  110. The pressure on girls is amazing. I try my best to keep my 5 year old as free as she wants to be, if that means wearing what she wants and singing out loud in the stores, I say go for it! She is SO confident and I love it!

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  111. I am always concerned our girls will miss out on the true beauty they have inside their hearts! It is so hard to compete with the ads, magazines, shows etc.
    Thanks for the blog post!
    From one praying Momma

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  112. I love this review and was hoping it would be OK to print this out for my daughter, she has 2 young girls 10 and 12, this would be awesome for her to use. Thanks again.

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  113. We have 2 girls and 1 son. As parents we always feel it is important to reassure them,
    Talk with them and give them as much love as we can. They range in age from 6,11 and almost 17, so somedays we struggle with figuring out how to have the right talks with our children , sometimes it’s them
    That come to is with questions and we answer them the best way possible! We have great kids, they do well in school , have friends, great grades and are very respectful ! Their are times though that we question what we say to them, whether its appropriate or not, but those are things take on the responsibility for having children ! Overall they are our priority and we think of the things we can do to make them secure, strong minded and have high self esteem as this world has many choices and we would love to see them making the right choices as adults .

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  114. It’s so sad to see how young girls view themselves. Society as a whole really needs to do more to change this and empower young girls.

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  115. Having a daughter that will be five in December I find it troubling that 72% of girls feel tremendous pressure to be beautiful, I’m glad I don’t have to deal with this pressure now but hopefully I am instilling values in her that will help her see that there is more to life than being beautiful. Intelligence and pride are great characteristics to instill in any young woman/girl.

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  116. It is awful to think girls see them selves that way. I always felt the pressure to look a different way, smaller nose, bigger eyes, larger lips etc. I tell my daughter that she is beautiful everyday, inside and out. I hope she won’t be afraid to like who she is.

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  117. How sad that only 4% of us women think we’re beautiful. It’s funny when I was young I thought I was beautiful but as I am aging I feel my beauty has faded and I am constantly picking something negative out about myself to criticize. So if I feel this way image how young girls must feel these days with all the magazines and t.v reality shows that they see everyday. I fight internally not to project my issues on the young girls in my life and I so hope that I am succeeding. Dove is doing a super wonderful job in convey the beauty of all of us, I love Dove for this program.

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  118. Excellent topic. I think that self esteem at any age is such a huge issue. Especially in tweens and teens. With bullying and all the outside influences of kids nowadays it is so crucial to help build up a kids self esteem and practice positive reinforcement. Always let them know the are beautiful just the way they are, and that beauty comes from within!

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  119. I don’t have children but I teach 4th/5th graders. Girls need to learn that their beauty comes from within NOT how they look on the outside!!!

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  120. I think we all grew up to think of ourselves as not being beautiful, we were cute, or pretty but never beautiful. I really do believe those statistics are true, even though it’s sad to see. I raised my daughters to be “beautiful” inside and out. Whether anyone else seen it or knew it, it didn’t matter, their self esteem was high and I was proud of them no matter if they got a pimple or gained some weight or whatever. They were my daughters and they were beautiful!

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  121. Good article, though I get the feeling it’s preaching to the choir here. I was just talking the other day with a friend of mine who collects comics. He had loaned me a pile to read through, and I found myself having a real problem with something specific that the stories lacked: female characters with powers that *everyone* would want. Male superheroes are always described by their awesome power/strength/ability/mental prowess/etc. Female superheroes largely carry the supportive role: they have *defensive* powers, instead of offensive; they can read minds (or control them, but mostly if they’re evil); they can heal, or shield, or turn invisible, or phase out. The only real exception I can think of is Rogue, and even her power is pure mimicry… a thief power, if you will. And those costumes?

    The one thing the dreaded princesses have over the awful representation of the female population in comic books is that princesses are at least decently covered. I found, by the by, another interesting article about “princess syndrome” here:
    http://www.babble.com/kid/child-development/combating-princess-syndrome/

    Anyway, good on ya.

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  122. I don’t have a daughter myself (yet!), but I really love this article. I plan on saving the tool kit for future use, either for my children or to help another child I may meet (for instance, my neighbor’s daughter).

    I grew up and was very shy. I was the exact opposite of your daughter in the height department and have always been self-conscious about it. It wasn’t until I was older that I embraced it, but I still have my moments (like when friends give me pants that end up being way too short for my long legs) where I hate that I’m so tall.

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  123. It’s always nice to see people who care about others. I wish I had someone who helped with my self esteem when I was growing up. To this day I still have issues. It’s hard being obese and so I find myself a recluse. I also love that there are commercials to help stop bullying. It’s hard enough being a teenager without your peers making it worse. Kudoos for sharing this!!!

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    • awww thank you Peggy and I think we all suffer a bit some more than others unfortunately and it’s time to speak out and help everyone and definitely stop bullying in it’s tracks! Thanks 🙂

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  124. That is something we as parents should be aware of. Our girls are always looking for outside validation. We should be teaching them to love themselves first. Then no outside forces can effect their self esteem. Thank you for writing about this.

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  125. I think this is a fabulous idea to be spreading this information around and teaching people how important self-esteem is. I never had someone actually show any concern for my self-esteem when I was growing up. I know my mom thought I was fine because I was involved, basketball, cheerleader etc….but she had no idea things I was struggling with because it’s not a talk we ever had. I LOVE this idea and will be following the download with my daughter. Thanks

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  126. This is something I think most women have to deal with everyday. I know for myself I have to make a choice everyday to be happy to be me or dwell on what could be better with me. I also know how I felt growing up and hope nobody goes through what I did but with the statics, you know so many are. I always try and make an effort to tell the woman I know how beautiful they are. I try to compliment them and I hope my nieces truly believe they are beautiful inside and out. I think they do, I pray they do.

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  127. I have a 7 year old girl who feels the pressure. But I also have a 10 year old boy who does too. I think it is the media that puts it in our heads even though I have explained that the book is more important than the cover and they get it as far as choosing friends and all of that but they sometimes feel inadequate because someone is faster, skinnier, etc.

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  128. This is very important indeed for everyone, whether you are a mom or not. Everyone is beautiful in their own way!! Thanks 🙂

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  129. This is a good subject to discuss..I think most girls at any age suffer somewhat from wishing they were thinner, bigger busted, smaller busted, had different colored eyes, or different colored hair..Shorter, taller..If your beautiful on the inside your outside appearance will shine too!! I told my daughters and grand daughters you have to like yourself first then others will like you too!! Be Happy, Sweet & caring. Personality counts alot..

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  130. my daughter has pretty good self esteem for being 14, she has her good days and then she has her bad, so this is awsome for me to have to read and give me a heads up on things thanks

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  131. I am a 46 year old woman who still suffers self esteem issues due to how I was brought up and things that happened to me. For the longest time I believed I was put on this earth to be abused and that somehow I was saving someone else by it. That was the only way I could make sense of it. I now realize that is not a valid statement.
    My reasons for posting this is to let people know what happens to kids can stay with them for life. Children hear what we say and do when we think they are not watching. We as adults need to stop this and allow our children to grow up healthy and happy.

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  132. If I had a daughter, I would teach her that she is beautiful just the way she is. Weight would not be an issue, health would be. I would want her to have the confidence to love herself and work for what she wants. Not letting other people influence your opinion of yourself is such a hard lesson to learn.

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  133. I think we all have our own different self-esteem issues butt we should always remember! No negativity! No one is perfect, we’re all beautiful just the way we are! and we should never settle for anything less!!!

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  134. This is a sad issue and I don’t think popular media helps any! I found that with my own daughter, we focused more on who she is rather than how she looks. Of course, you always want to look your best but focusing on being the best you that you can be is a good place to start. Sports and academics also helped. She loves to play any sport and at 23, she plays a sport during each block while in med school!

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  135. I think as parents we need to boost girls self esteem and really teach them it doesnt matter what a boy or another girl thinks and show them that the heart and what do you do defines you not your looks of course it wont be easy but we have to do something so they dont fall to this horrible trap

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  136. I grew up with low self esteem and it makes me very nervous for my kids, I worry they might feel the same way. I wish the “world” would look at women now and see that size 16 is the norm, that ridiculous diet trends are not healthy, that beauty should be healthy not frail.

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  137. These statistics make me sad. I’m a mom of two girls I works really hard at trying to improve their self esteem. Thank you for the helpful articel.

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  138. I am always talking to my Daughter about self confidence. It is so important especially nowadays with the bullying going on and kids killing themselves. I always say how beautiful my Daughter is to her.. It starts with the parents encouraging out kids

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  139. It is so wrong too dress girls up too look older then they are for contests. They should enjoy their childhood . Yet today girls are told too look beautiful all the time. They need too be themselves more.

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  140. I could not agree more that the statistics are very poor. I am unsure of why this seems to effect women so much, but sadly enough, it’s true. I believe that what you are doing for your daughter is a most wonderful thing! I think that if more parents were to put forth the extra effort with their girls, perhaps more would grow up to feel better about themselves and stop accepting the abuse from partners as so many do.

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  141. I think that magazines have a lot to do with body image. Photoshop is a big part of the problem. What we see on the cover is not reality.

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  142. It’s terrible those statistics. Only 4% consider themselves beautiful. You have to lay blame on Hollywood, advertising, and yes, the Western way. I think the percentage of women not finding themselves beautiful, is very low in this country as a whole.

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  143. it’s horrible for girls these days… there’s so much pressure on them to be sexy (yes, even your tweens, unfortunately)… and they’re CONSTANTLY bombarded with messages of “not good enough” – the television tells them they need this or that product in order to be beautiful… their peers cut them down to make themselves look better… the boys are bombarded with images of warped “perfection” that they ignore any girl that doesn’t fit that mold… but, really, is it enough that we as parents tell them they’re beautiful? is one positive voice out of millions of negative voices really going to win? we need to start a revolution of sorts – we need to make a fuss, and LOUDLY, that the magazines and movies should start featuring women of all shapes, sizes, colors, complexions so our daughters can see that ALL women are worthy of respect, love, and dignity REGARDLESS of how their bodies are.

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  144. it is sad that we put so much pressure on woman to look a certain way. it;s no wonder most feel that they could never amount to anything. I love this dove program and think all girls young and old should participate in it.

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  145. As a mom of two teenage daughters, I have seen it all from being most popular to the meanest bullying I’ve ever seen that has caused major damage on my children. You have to be strong and teach them to be stronger, this world we live in is tough and young girls are tomorrow’s women and we must teach them survival of the fitests!

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  146. as a mom of two who are now low twenties i think ive seen about it all. whatever obstacles you face you can overcome and be a stronger woman. God Bless

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  147. The statistics are sad and not surprising. I have always said Men were born with self esteem but Women have to learn it!

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  148. I was alarmed by those statistics, but not incredibly surprised. Our daughter will be 14 in a week and we’ve done our best to maintain a positive, low-key attitude about self-esteem. We talk about being confident, having a good character, being open minded, and that looks do not mean beauty. It’s all about who you are as a person.

    I was very proud of my daughter last year: Someone called a friend of hers “fat.” Her friend for a few days was very sad and quiet. My daughter reached out to her and asked her what was going on. Her friend explained to her that she thought she was ugly and someone said she’s fat. My daughter told her that she is beautiful and that the only reason that the other person made fun of her is because they probably don’t feel good about themself. My daughter told me that she was worried about telling me because she promised her friend that she wouldn’t tell anyone what happened, but she was worried about her friend so she came to me for advice. I of course, told my daughter that I was so proud of her for being a good friend and she definitely did the right thing by telling me because her mom and I could help. I talked to this girl’s mother and her mom was able to step in before things got out of hand.

    If we did more things like building confidence and encouraging all shapes and sizes, we’d hopefully have less of these issues. I applaud you for putting this post out there. You are right, “All people are beautiful”.

    Reply
    • Thank you for sharing that Renee, it’s so important that all girls realize they are beautiful and that it’s what’s on the inside that counts no matter what anyone else says to them. Thanks!

      Reply
  149. Pretty sad–This is one of the reasons why we started homeschooling our last 4– we have even seen this with our teenage boy kids can be so curel and being one of the biggest kids in school didn’t help. He went into a real depression–I had to talk to the school more than once. His self worth was bashed. We had the very same thing happen to our 11 yr old girl—so when it started –was when we took all of them out of public school. They do have a social life –but most of it is through church,I am not saying that this is perfect– but it works for us.

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  150. Very meaningful article! I applaud Dove’s and any parents who build their children up by actively listening to them and encouraging them consistently.

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  151. I have a daughter who is 4 and I instill in her everyday that I love her and she is beautiful. I want her to go to school having confidence in who she is and what she wears. It is hard this day and age what children will say to one another to put their spirts down.

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  152. Sobering statistics. Each girl needs special attention that allows them to see their choices are important and that they are important! Thanks for a great post!

    Reply
  153. I would like to see more schools having classes about self esteem. Once the girls get to middle school it gets really tough for them. Lots of pressure to be thin, pretty, popular etc. I never see the schools helping the kids with this. Since the girls spend alot of time at school it would be a great way to help them. It would make it easier for parents today also. We instill it into them at home but what happens when they get to school.

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  154. As a mom of 2 girls, this is a big issue for me … it’s definitely a challenge to instill self-confidence in them when the world is always surrounding them with thin, made-up, fake images.

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  155. I am against little girls being made to look like adults.Children are children,not little adults.Because then they become obsessed about their looks.

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  156. Such an important topic, this is one area that scares me most when it comes to parenting, and I don’t have any girls (yet). How to teach them to be happy with who they are, and not too worry too much about what others think.

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  157. I’m 29 and had issues with self esteem until the past few years. I try to encourage my kids to love who they are 🙂 because there is no one else like them in the world!

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  158. I think it is very important to make sure that our daughters have good self esteem. Our family listens to a lot of Christian music and some very good songs that talk about this issue are More Beautiful You by Johnny Diaz and Beautiful by MercyMe. I think all girls should feel beautiful but there are so many especially in the tween/teen years who work at tearing each other down.

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  159. this is so sad. society is so hell bent on how a female looks. girls as young as 8,9 yrs old.. obsessed with how they look and they feel not good enuf. this has to stop!!

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  160. It is hard for girls to have a healthy self esteem. I remember growing up thinking I was ugly and fat and I was neither (ok I had a skin problem – acne). Now I see myself as Beautiful!

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  161. Thanks to Dove for helping girls with their self esteem! Lord knows that girls nowadays need all the help & support they can get <3

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  162. I think it is very important for young girls to have a good amount of self esteem. When they are not comfortable with themselves they try to fit in with others and usually end up in the wrong crowd and doing things that are not good for them. I know that was how I spent most of my teen years unfortunately.

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  163. Oh wow, those statistics are so surprising and so sad. I’ve noticed how low girl’s self esteem seems to be today and there’s so much added pressure from celebrities and media. Everyone is beautiful in their own way!

    Reply
  164. Having two girls and one being a teen I know all too well how they have low self esteem. It is important to build them up. They are all beautiful and all important. Thanks for writing about this

    Reply
  165. Only 4% of women around the world consider themselves beautiful (up from 2% in 2004)
    This isn’t the first time I’ve heard this statistic, but it gets me every time I read it. And the fact that the percentage has gone up since 2004 too! We really need to fix our priorities as a society. I have so much love for Dove for working hard at improving self-esteem in our girls.

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  166. what an important topic! i have an almost 20 month old daughter and a 4-1/2 year old son and i think of this often… its often overwhelming, too, so these are some great tips and resources!!

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  167. Aren’t those statistics so very sad!! I believe them though, because I have never in my life felt happy about my looks and felt comfortable with myself. Unfortunately you see all of the thin beautiful people on tv and you are always trying to compare yourself to them.. As you get older, you should be able to understand that not everyone is that way and be happy with who you are.. I’d have to say that I believe older women have issues with this too.. I know I do..

    Reply

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