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Do you feel passionate about the self-esteem of your child? If so, please share your thoughts with the Dove Self-Esteem Project (DSEP) – and you could win a £200 voucher - NOW CLOSED

(149 Posts)
AnnMumsnet (MNHQ) Thu 30-May-13 15:41:08

The folks at Dove would love to hear your thoughts on their new Self-Esteem Project and the launch of their new online space packed full of resources, specifically designed to help parents build their girls' body confidence and self-esteem.

The new website is here: selfesteem.dove.co.uk/

Dove say, "Do you notice your daughter comparing her looks to others? While this is a normal part of adolescence, it can also be a slippery road for her self-confidence."

"Our ambition is for beauty to be a source of confidence, not anxiety. The DSEP was founded in 2004 to ensure the next generation of women grows up to be happy and content, free from misconstrued beauty stereotypes and the burden of self-doubt."

"Dove's aim is to improve the self-esteem of over 15 million young people by 2015. It is well on the way, having reached more than 11 million so far, but there are lots more girls to reach. And with more than half (54%) of girls citing their mothers as their primary role model*, Mumsnet is working with the DSEP to give mums the information they need to help raise their children's body confidence".

"In addition, Dove has also been doing a lot of work directly with schools - the DSEP made a donation of £250,000 to Beat (Beating Eating Disorders) to deliver free self-esteem workshops for 11-14 year old school children. Already, 152,175 lives have been reached and Dove wants to reach thousands more this year, so get your school to book a free workshop now by visiting www.dove.co.uk/en/".

School student, 14 year old Emily, shares her views on the workshops: "My view of beauty has changed massively - I now realise that nobody's perfect and everyone has flaws"

So have a look and let Dove - on this thread - know what you think. They are finalising the website now and want to use your feedback to help make it better. Please note your comments may be used to help shape future edits of the site and the programme.

Please state the age of your DD(s) when you respond.

~ What's your general feedback - is it user friendly? Is it helpful? What is good about the site, what's appealing to you/ your DD? Is it something you think you'd use? If so, how? If not why not? What's missing? What self-esteem issue do you think is not covered so well?

~ On the activities which are on this site, including (but not limited to) My Mosaic and Retouch Roulette - what are your favourite/ least favourite activities - and why? All activities can be viewed on the website.

~ Generally talking about self-esteem and girls - how - if at all - has this affected your DD? How do you and your family deal with it? What age did any issues start? Do you think the website would help your DD?

~ Parents of boys: whilst the DSEP focuses primarily on girls, it understands that boys are also affected by self-esteem issues. The DSEP will be working on dedicated materials for boys so Dove would love to hear your thoughts on how boys are affected by self-esteem or body image issues.

All comments welcome.

Add your feedback on this thread and you'll be entered into a prize draw where one MNer will win a £200 voucher to spend at www.experiencedays.co.uk

Thanks
MNHQ

* Source: Real Truth About Beauty Revisited - Dove Global Study 2010
Please note your comments on this thread may be used by Dove elsewhere.

timidviper Thu 30-May-13 17:43:24

I'm not going to take up much of your time as my DD is now 21 so not really in the age group being targetted but can I just say WELL DONE! My DDs teenage years were blighted by anxiety and body image issues, which were endemic at her school, despite our best efforts.

I hope she is finding her confidence now but I wish she could have experienced this type of support, other than from DH and I, when she was younger. Incidentally, she told me yesterday she had emailed a fashion site that aims at teens and early 20s to complain because the swimwear model featured was skinny to the point of emaciated which she felt was a bad influence on younger girls

janekirk Thu 30-May-13 17:59:06

Yes it's so important. But, there is a fine line between self-esteem and thinking you are gods' gift to the human race. Always tell little ones to make the most of what they have and not to aspire to be some brain-dead empty headed celebrity with no skills.

potentiallytotallyshafted Thu 30-May-13 18:25:23

Afraid I'm not going to enter into any discussions with Dove, or buy their products again, after they refused to pull their advertising from Facebook.

donnie Thu 30-May-13 18:34:19

I have just had a quick look at the website and like it. I have added it to my favourites and will encourage dd1 to look and explore. She is 12 this year and is developing, and very body conscious. She does sometimes get very anxious about her appearance and so on.I like the mosaic idea, especially.
Whilst I always reassure her and try to boost her it is hard for me because I was anorexic for many years and still have food/eating/body issues which , I now realise, will never ever go away. It is hard to live with these and simultaneously try to ensure your own children are not dragged into that hell as well. But I do try!

weightofresponsibility Thu 30-May-13 18:34:23

I thought the same. For a brand which pitches its wares based on boosting women's self esteem and encouraging acceptance of true normal, it's very sad to hear that they couldn't put their money where their mouth is and tell Facebook to shove their ads.

donnie Thu 30-May-13 18:37:07

One thing I have noticed is that my dd is anxious about things that as I child I never even thought about, like her fingernails and having a manicured look - to her and her friends , mani/pedi is normal. She has also informed me that she hates pubic hair and when she gets it she intends to remove it. I have no idea where that idea came from = I am not a big hair remover (although I do shave my underarms) but she must have got it from somewhere.

Self esteem isn't purely a positive thing. There is plenty of research on it and here is a good summary. www.jrf.org.uk/media-centre/commonly-held-beliefs-about-self-esteem-are-myths-warns-new-research-review

gazzalw Thu 30-May-13 18:41:52

With our DS (he's 12), it's all to do with being part of the pack and not being seen as a nerdy, geeky studious child (and he goes to a grammar school). However, there seems to be a lot of kudos attached to being a bit of a 'jock' and in school sports teams.

I think the key with boys, is to encouraging them to find their own niche interest which they are good at - that goes a long way to battling the self-esteem demons.

However, DS is only a 'tween'. He is also quite small for his age, and if he follows our lead, will not go thro' puberty until he's 14/15 -so I can imagine that he may be prone to issues about feeling like a boy whilst his classmates grow to manhood. This is something we will have to keep our eye on (I know being a late developer impacted significantly on DW as a teen) whilst acknowledging that it's Nature's way and that there are advantages to being 'young' for longer (not least being getting away without using his Oystercard if he's forgotten it because he looks young for his age...)

I have read some rather alarming articles in the Press recently - I think there was one in the Sunday Times a few weeks back - about boys and weight-training and taking performance-enhancing drugs. That seems to be becoming an issue. I cannot see DS going down that route, on current form, but I guess once he starts getting interested in girls and if his peers are into body-beautiful, that might all change.

I will have a look at the website later this evening with DS. Have already forwarded the link to all friends with tween/teen daughters....

kippersmum2 Thu 30-May-13 18:48:25

You say you are mainly interested in girls. Well thats a mistake. My 13 year old DS has struggled with low srlf esteem for years being the butt if everyone's jokes & continually criticised for his size or looks or what he likes or generally for anything.
He generally gets on better with girls as they are calmer & gentler & seem to get him rather than being expected to fit into the rough & tumble of a boys world.
This has been a tough few years so I feel strongly that more should be done & available for boys as it's not just girls affected. In many ways its worse for boys.

potentiallytotallyshafted Thu 30-May-13 18:48:55

Just can't take them seriously now, women's self esteem clearly means less to them than profits or they would have done the right thing and stopped advertising on Facebook, who allow content that endorses seriously disturbing gender hate and appalling violence towards women. Their whole pro women thing is nothing more than branding. Sorry.

CMOTDibbler Thu 30-May-13 19:11:50

I haven't looked through all the Dove website yet as it runs really slowly for me, but all the women shown seem to be slim, white, middle class, very 'feminine' and ablebodied. Surely, when talking about self esteem of all times you should follow the concept through and show women of all colours, shapes, sizes, ways of dressing, with visible differences, and disabilities.

starkadder Thu 30-May-13 19:13:36

Maybe Dove could start by not selling whitening deodorant in Asia, thus encouraging millions of girls and women to be anxious about the colour of their armpits. Armpit skin colour! As if we didn't have enough to beat ourselves up about! And then pull the stupid Facebook ads, please.

CheeseStrawWars Thu 30-May-13 19:51:56

YY to running really slowly. Got bored of waiting but what I did see wasn't laid out well, there was no clear "route" for me as a parent to follow. Also I note it is (cynically?) targeted at girls of an age to consume the Dove product - when surely self-esteem is something we should be addressing throughout our children's childhoods rather than as a reactive thing when they hit puberty?

Nice idea, execution is lacking.

Leverette Thu 30-May-13 20:01:56

1) very disappointed in Facebook ad inaction.

2) enough discrimination please - boys come under huge social pressures with regard to appearance just as girls do.

ReallyRachel Thu 30-May-13 20:14:16

Thankfully my 8yr old DD isn't worried about her body image and after battling for years with her confidence with her speech, it is one aspect we haven't had to worry about yet. My 10 yr old son however is a different matter. He has a very very low self esteem and often hates himself and wishes he was dead. We went for a walk the other week and all he said was he didn't want his picture taken because he's hideous and didn't want to break the camera. He often threatens to kill himself and has even got a knife and threatened to stab himself in the past! He will say he is ugly, thick, stupid, gay, fat etc and tells me he gets called names at school, especially fat, and he hates it. I hate hearing him talk this way and it just breaks my heart sad It has been going on for over a year and I don't know how to help him at all confused

TheFlipsideOfTheCoin Thu 30-May-13 20:14:51

I like the general idea.

I've suffered from eating disorders and body dysmorphic disorder for years now. Sometimes it is so bad that I feel unable to leave the house for months on end. I'm 20 years old.

The only way I feel that we can instil children with good self esteem is to make massive changes to societal attitudes. The worst parts for me were NOT the media- I know about airbrushing etc- but the views of everyday people.

StickEmUpPunk Thu 30-May-13 20:23:00

Isn't this a bit wonky considering Dove are a player within the sales of 'commercial beauty ideas'??
Look at the ads, the models etc.
Very clever on their part trying to get into this kind of thing.

shanelle5 Thu 30-May-13 20:27:11

A topic very close to my heart as I have 3 teenage daughters (19,17 and 14). Two of whom have had or do have serious self esteem issues.
We have all individually or seperately seen and commented on Dove's campiagn and I have to say its been a good way to talk through some of their feelings and has opened up the chance to really discuss these issues and led to some interesting and much needed talks. We all young and old in our house, love the ads..
I would like to thank Dove for an excellent campaign! More please, really, really well done.

rachel19784 Thu 30-May-13 20:54:57

I am a Mum to 2 DD's one is 11 and my eldest is 16.My eldest DD has lost 2 and a half stone in the last 4 months, and is going to the gym at least every other day and would go more often if he could get a lift.
He has expressed concerns to me only this afternoon about excess skin and even thinks he has 'man boobs' that may need help from the doctors.
He has researched that some people have a condition where no matter how much weight they loose they can have them, he even knows that hormones at his age can cause them!
Surely a teenager who looks great should not have these concerns and have looked into them on line.
He said after he looses another stone in weight if they are still there then he wants me to take him to our GP.
This from a boy who normally just grunts and stays in his room, well apart from going to school and the gym.
He has asked me for fat burning tablets and lives on a diet of Chicken, lettuce and broccoli and goes mad if I give him carbs.
I never worried about him having any problems as I was pretty naive just because he is a boy and not a girl.
I had issues as a teenager as did my sister and i used to make myself sick before nights out to look good.
I love the fact that dove show women of all sizes on there adverts, it would be great to see men on the adverts too that are not Model perfect.

Hopezibah Thu 30-May-13 21:10:41

I have two boys aged 7 and nearly 9 (and a baby girl so when she grows older the dove website will be really useful) and my 7 year old is on the 'bigger' side and although we have never said anything to him about it, I think he feels it himself. We just try to focus on general healthy eating and getting exercise. He also calls himself 'stupid' sometimes which is heartbreaking as we have never said that to him. I think he compares himself with his older brother and feels like he is not as good academically.

The cyber bullying mentioned on the dove site is bound to be a big issues these days and I think it is great for parents to get some advice on how to deal with it.

I think even adults can feel intimidated on social media and I think there is going to be a future 'explosion' of people needing some sort of therapy based on the negative impact of social media. So the sooner cyber -bullying is addressed and considered as a real issue the better.

Nigglenaggle Thu 30-May-13 21:22:31

I have one son aged one year, so showed interest in this site mainly by remembering my own teens

~ What's your general feedback - is it user friendly? Is it helpful? What is good about the site, what's appealing to you/ your DD? Is it something you think you'd use? If so, how? If not why not? What's missing? What self-esteem issue do you think is not covered so well?

Its user friendly and helpful for parents to read. I think if I'd been sent the link as a teen I'd probably have used it, although I would have felt uncomfortable discussing the issues raised aloud. To me now the information given is common sense, but its easy to forget ourselves and useful to have a remindder.

~ On the activities which are on this site, including (but not limited to) My Mosaic and Retouch Roulette - what are your favourite/ least favourite activities - and why? All activities can be viewed on the website.

I liked them. I would have enjoyed the mosaic and its interesting to see the retouching. The faces looked better before the retouch I thought. However they still show very beautiful, nicely made up women even without the airbrushing. I think some info on how long the real life preparation for the photo took would be good (make up time, hairdressing etc) - while the women are clearly naturally beautiful they dont roll out of bed looking like that.

~ Generally talking about self-esteem and girls - how - if at all - has this affected your DD? How do you and your family deal with it? What age did any issues start? Do you think the website would help your DD?

I think it starts at secondary school. There is a bigger group who know each other less well than the smaller primary school classes. Like any larger group of people, there is more chance of meeting regularly with people you dont get on well with. One issue I feel very strongly about is the way the self esteem of slim girls is neglected. I was very skinny at school and constantly teased about it. Looking back I looked great, but couldnt see it. But absolutely no-one suggested being slim was ok, while larger girls are constantly reassured. Everywhere were statements like 'Men/boys really only like curvy women' 'She looks like a stick' 'Kate Moss is unhealthy, women should not look like this'. This was not from the teasers, but the people who were supposed to be reassuring and helping me. And no-one ever thought that this talk was not OK.

~ Parents of boys: whilst the DSEP focuses primarily on girls, it understands that boys are also affected by self-esteem issues. The DSEP will be working on dedicated materials for boys so Dove would love to hear your thoughts on how boys are affected by self-esteem or body image issues.

I think boys keep things inside more so are actually more vulnerable than girls, and harder to help.

cardibach Thu 30-May-13 21:24:24

I think the website has for too many words! It isn't really eye catching or compelling (and I'm an English teacher as well as a parent of a DD aged 17).
I am a bit suspicious as Dove's last beauty campaign - about not seeing beauty ion ourselves but seeing it in our friends - clearly did not show what they said it did. It simply showed most women are modest about their own looks but tactful/generous about the looks of their friends.
I think teenagers of both sexes need help with body image, but not necessarily self esteem per se.

WouldBeHarrietVane Thu 30-May-13 21:28:28

Don't really approve of this tbh - I would just like to see way less focus on looks generally, rather than redefining beauty.

I am surprised schools are allowing a commercial entity in to do covert advertising in this way.

Nigglenaggle Thu 30-May-13 21:29:12

I also partially agree with CMOT above - although infact the women featured arent all white, the rest of what he/she says is true. There isn't enough variety and they all looked quite conventional. A couple of goths etc wouldn't hurt. I've always felt the Dove 'real women' adverts have never actually featured a big variety of women. Plus the 'real women' is a tag which suggests most models are not - which goes back to my point above. The slim and conventionally beautiful need their self esteem protecting as much as the rest of us. Just because many think they are an image of perfection does not mean that they dont have worries about their appearance, or indeed personality/intellignece etc.

Overall though, a good step in the right direction Dove.

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