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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.

daisybrown Thu 30-May-13 21:53:18

Why just girls, couldn't be where they will earn most money from in the future, surely not!

CMOTDibbler Thu 30-May-13 22:00:54

As the sites speeded up now, I've looked at more and found that there are some non white models - but still no more diversity than that. And no mention at all of self esteem/confidence when your appearance isn't the 'norm' by choice (goth, cultural choice, gender non conformist, choosing not to follow fashion) or due to burns/scarring/limb loss or whatever.

lurcherlover Thu 30-May-13 22:14:23

Dove is from the same stable as Lynx, adverts for which objectify women. I can't see that this is anything more thank marketing ploy.

sharond101 Thu 30-May-13 22:44:10

~ 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?
I've only had a quick glance at the website but I though it was rather busy and off putting as it had too much information on the homepage without much order. Maybe there is an easier way to navigate or a contents page would certainly help. I do think it's a great idea though and I'd use it to help myself as well as my DS should he have issues, although I realise it's geared towards girls.

~ 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 disliked Retouch Roulette as some of the pictures which were retouched looked very like the real version which defeats the purpose of the activity. Tought the mosaic game was quite aimed at a very young age group

~ 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?
It's aboy I have and he is only 1 yr old. I have huge self esteem issues and I worry he will take after me with this.

~ 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.
More pressure is on boys nowadays to look their best and to workout, eat healthily etc. This in turn grows self esteem issues.

- I like the idea behind the site but it's way too wordy and not very 'cool'. If you're trying to promote something to younger girls it needs to be more eye catching and less like a NHS self help website.

-Retouch roulette could have been quite a fun thing. You could really go to town there, most of the retouching is too subtle! You should be showing girls that a lot of these pictures are almost completely unreal, your examples were too tame.

-Mosaic game is dull.

- DD is 3 so we are constantly working to give her the best esteem possible. This means no tv/advertising in the house. We are very specific about what media she uses. When she's older we'll explain it to her in more detail, not in a lecturey way, more of a 'Look how ridiculous this is'.

MaryMotherOfCheeses Thu 30-May-13 23:05:17

But Dove still sell products which are all about the way you look.

Your websites are full of models looking gorgeous. White (or light skinned) long haired, slim, perfect teeth.

This campaign is just publicity and tbh, it puts me off Dove because it seems somewhat duplicitous. You sell beauty products. That's what you do, this campaign is like trying to pretend that your products are not about getting money from people because they want to look better.

I don't think it's a clever campaign, I think it's manipulative.

MaryMotherOfCheeses Thu 30-May-13 23:07:55

When you say you have already reached 11 million people, what exactly does this mean?

A target of improving the self esteem of 15 million? How will you be measuring that? How will you know that their self esteem has been improved? Or do you mean they've simply had the opportunity to see your publicity?

CheeryCherry Thu 30-May-13 23:24:25

My DDs are 12 and 14. One is very overly body conscious, the other just starting...
I like the concept of the website though I think both my DDs would only glance at it, it seems to be aimed at pre-secondary school age. It does seem quite wordy on the opening page. Maybe could use an article on keeping skin healthy, or clothing styles to suit different body types. I do find my DDs compare their various body parts - nose, chin, eyes, legs etc with each other and friends.
I don't think either DD would use the mosaic or roulette. They would prefer quiz type features similar to ones in magazines
Self esteem has been a huge issue for DD1 since she went to high school, we chat on an almost daily basis about her latest concerns. Luckily we have a large family with excellent and varied role models which I think will help in the long run.
I also have a teenage DS, he is quiet about his appearance but likes his hair and scent to be just right. Boys certainly have their own issues.

GetKnitted Thu 30-May-13 23:50:26

Been looking through retouch roulette... absolutely scandalous what the industry does to images of women.

I have boys, I'm not actually that worried about their own body consciousness, I am more worried that they will grow up with an unrealistic understanding of what a normal woman looks like!

musicposy Fri 31-May-13 00:46:46

The site moves so slowly. I tried to persevere but got very bored waiting for it to load. Watching my DD on the internet, she won't have the patience for something that takes this long. It needs to be less fussy and run quicker.

There's no direction to the site. It feels fragmented and you don't know where to go next. You click on a couple of things, wait ages, feel you're going round in circles, and probably give up. It's hard to see what the site is saying that has any real bite or interest at first glances. It needs organising better.

I thought the site was too girly and pastel coloured to be giving any real message. DD2 is 13 and doing Sociology and we've talked a lot about gender issues, how the media portrays girls etc. Personally, I don't think this site helps. The girls are all slim, young and pretty, which goes totally against what it is trying to say.

I tried retouch roulette but it didn't seem to do much - said if it was retouched or not but I think it missed the point - or I did. I'd have liked to see people who looked more normal before the retouch.

I think this website is going about self esteem the wrong way. I've encouraged my DD that she can be whatever she wants to be, helped her think outside the box, see that girls can be scientists and have meccano and wear blue and bright primary colours. Sadly I think the dove website enforces half the stereotypes it is trying to preach against. Until I see women of all ages, shapes, sizes and ethnicities on there, preferably doing exciting things and not just looking pretty, I'll be giving it a miss.

Tee2072 Fri 31-May-13 07:44:38

I am really conflicted by this. I had great hopes for The Campaign for Real Beauty, but I agree with most of the posters here.

Real beauty isn't every woman looking the same. Oh, some are a big heavy or have scars, but where are the people of colour? The differently abled? The old who look old?

I have a boy so maybe I can nip his body image problems in the bud early. But I agree with GetKnitted. What are his expectations of a woman going to be?

MarshaBrady Fri 31-May-13 07:48:14

Dove is the glossy marketed version of 'real'. Which is fine when it's selling soap to adults.

Less comfortable with it targeting children. It is just a brand idea used to sell products after all. They're in the same business as any other beauty brand with a different spin.

It's ok. I'm not keen on merging education and marketing / striving for profit.

elizaco Fri 31-May-13 07:49:33

I think this website is a great idea. It's easy to navigate, and looks appealing. I will certainly encourage my 11 year-old to have a look. I think she'll find it supportive and re-assuring.

I liked the idea of My Mosaic, but not sure if my daughter would actually take the time to insert photos. I think she'd use the site but less interactively.

My daughter doesn't really seem to have an issue with self-esteem at the moment, but I am amazed at the pressure there is to have the right hair/right clothing labels even at this young age.

DD is still very young, not yet 3 but already I am conscious of the kind of influences she is being exposed to. Already she wants her nails painted, her hair "pretty" etc so I do worry about the value her little mind puts on beauty. So I do like the idea behind the site very much.

However, and maybe it's because neither I nor DD are the right demographic, I thought the site was very busy and I didn't like the palette used. Some of it was a little dull but the concepts are admirable and it is the type of resource I would look to when she is a bit older

i get really utterly sick of the look how 'real women' look type ploys that then show slim, able bodied, feminine women. it's still just a really narrow misleading view of what female bodies look like but they expect a round of applause for letting the odd miniscule spec of fat or cellulite get in.

also the title says your 'child' when clearly they're only interested in their future customers girls. if self esteem isn't just about how you look and they're not marketing products why is it just for girls?

self esteem is not about looks and people who sell 'beauty' products are not the people to be influencing girls.

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?

Found it a bit slow and clunky, far too busy. It's not something I would use. The main thing missing from the site is ordinary girls and women. They all look like models. There are so many different faces and body shapes, so why have Dove used conventionally pretty ones?

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.

Favourite is Retouch Roulette - when it finally worked. It was slow and clunky. Having said that I'm not impressed by the site, the underlying message is that there is still a certain type of beauty.

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?

The biggest problem with self-esteem is that it is never seen as an holistic thing. We discourage people being proud of their beauty, but encourage people to be proud of their brains. Both are entirely hereditary/genetic/luck based. It would be lovely to move to a "people are just people" viewpoint, instead of trying to convince women that they are beautiful. At the end of the day the website is still coming down to the message that "you are beautiful and you should therefore have self esteem". The real message should be "you are you and you should therefore have self esteem".

and the images of children - why did they all have to be perfect pretty little things dolled up? seriously? you're not even trying.

peronel Fri 31-May-13 09:44:24

My DD's self esteem seems irrevocably linked - at the age of 11 - to the need to wear make-up and nail varnish (when allowed) in a way that we of the previous generation did not. Yes, we experimented with make-up which was fun but these girls seem unable to go out without having to tart themselves up, quite often looking ridiculous. The pervasive influence of the media, I think...

actually it's made me quite cross. and it's all pinkified and swirly writing and oh so 'feminine'. it's just grooming really - with a twist of pretending it's something different.

Salbertina Fri 31-May-13 10:39:00

Yes (of course!) but why say "child" in title then?? Are boys not children too?? Think your market/remit is girls only, yes?

eminemmerdale Fri 31-May-13 10:39:54

My eldest daughter is 23 now and went through a fair bit of angst in her teenage years comparing herself to others. She has always been very slim and tall and(obviously!) beautiful so it was painful to go through. I hope I gave her the confidence to be herself - she is certainly confident now. My youngest is 7 and has only one ear, which i have too, I found it very hard as a teenager to accept this and was terrified no one would want me. I am instilling in her that it doesn't matter - she is lovely and has self worth whatvere she looks like, or what people think. So far, it's working, but I am dreading the future a bit. Howvere much I tell her it doesn't matter, ther will always be idiots who will make her feel different. We have to show them strong and powerful role models (her current heroine is Marie Curie!)

AnnMumsnet (MNHQ) Fri 31-May-13 11:26:04

Hello - thanks for all the comments so far - Dove welcome all feedback and it will all be noted by them. They are looking into the slowness of the site some of you have reported.

In response to the Facebook ads issue they have asked me to pass on the following statement to you.

Stacie Bright, Global Director, Marketing Communications for Dove says "We have been actively working with Facebook over the past few days to address the issue of gender-based hate-speech, and we welcome Facebook's commitment to take additional measures to tackle the problem. Dove takes this issue very seriously and does not condone any activity that intentionally insults any audience. We have heard and share the concerns and remain committed to creating a world where beauty is a source of confidence, not anxiety."

ccsays Fri 31-May-13 12:50:43

I hate the whole Dove campaign and find it all pretty repulsive, to be honest. It essentially boils down to 'don't worry, you're not as ugly as you think! You're still physically attractive! Phew!'

How about a campaign for women and girls that encourages them to base their self esteem on their intelligence or kindness or talents rather than 'beauty'? How about letting women know that their looks have zero bearing on their worth as a person and that any who disagrees can shove it, rather than clips of simpering friends telling them they're jealous of their nice bum?

And yes, as others have pointed out, this is company tha sells skin lightening products in other countries so drivel about 'natural beauty' from them wears a bit thin. hmm

ccsays Fri 31-May-13 12:53:38

Also, self esteem and 'body confidence' are not one and the same.

titchy Fri 31-May-13 12:53:46

Have dd 14 and ds 12.

Found the 'Is it real or retouched' item a bit patronising to be honest, and none of the before photos were particularly different. Would be a good opportunity to show some celebs/models with spots, greasy hair etc, then show how these are photoshopped out of magazines, rather than showing pretty models with a few minor tweaks.

Overall the purpose of the website is unclear - who is it aimed at? Parents? Teens?

I also find the whole ethos - beauty to be a source of confidence not anxiety - a bit misleading. Beauty in itself should NOT be a source of anything. We need to empower our girls (and boys!) to believe that it's the whole person that counts, and that qualities such as empathy, humour, working to achieve are really what makes a person worth while and THIS should be promoted as a source of confidence. Take beauty entirely out of the equation please!

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