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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.

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!

findingme Fri 31-May-13 13:07:20

1/ The website is a great idea. I'm not sure about the layout but am rubbish at designing things so don't know what to suggest. It is slow to load (on work pc at lunch so I probably don;t have the right updates to play the games and load pictures). I think there is too much loading up on the front page - maybe have a "games" link on the front page with all the games on another page - etc. I do like the overall feel and colour scheme. Maybe it could feature more examples of "real" bodies and how everyone is different yet still beautiful.

2/ I couldn't get the Retouch Roulette to load, (probably my pc) but reading other people's comments, if the differences are subtle that is not going to get the point across as well as a big contrast. The mosaic one does look nice for the younger children. I don't think my DD would play these on her own but they are a useful tool for me to go through with her.

3/ I have a DD (9). Actually I have been having problems with her self esteem in these last couple of weeks. She thought she was "fat". To overcome this (thanks to great MN advice) I took her to see the nurse, who measured her and showed her where she was on the chart. She now seems a lot happier. If the Retouch Roulette could be improved to show more of a contrast between real and airbrushed, I would use this with DD. I will probably go through the articles with her.

PostBellumBugsy Fri 31-May-13 13:07:53

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?

Haven't had time to look in a very detailed way - but my overall impression is that it looks like the sanitary towel / tampon type leaflets that they used to give out to girls back in the 1980s. All floaty, wishy washy type colours. I don't like it. Also it doesn't navigate that well, there are better designed sites out there for young people*: *Doctor Wellgood or GoThinkBig being examples I can think of.

~ 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.

Wanted to play Retouch Roulette but it wouldn't open.

~ 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?

DD (aged 11) is very aware of appearance, clothing brands etc. She is also very aware of the girls who TTH (try to hard). I am constantly looking for opportunities to share stories with her about women who have succeeded outside of the world of fashion, television and pop music - as this seems to be the only women regularly portrayed as successful in the media. Self-esteem and self-respect are very much connected and I think that having respect for yourself and the things that you do is very, very important. I would love to see less focus on pop culture generally for girls, as there are some serious respect issues there.

~ 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.

Have a DS too & although he is probably more aware of fashion, labels & appearance than my brother or his father would have been at the same age - for some reason it is still very different for boys. Successful males continue to appear in a variety of forms*: *Jeremy Clarkson, Sir Alan Sugar, Bear Grhylls, Richard Branson etc and not just pop singers or television presenters. DS's self-esteem is more connected to what he does than what he looks like.

minesawine Fri 31-May-13 13:36:50

I think the website is great and as a mum of a 10-going-on-18 year old I will definately be showing it to her. It would be good to see more images of non white women and girls and show more diversity, including disabilities.

My daughter is obsessed with celebrity and becoming famous which really worries me as she does not think getting an education is important "because you don't have to be clever to be on X Factor!"

It is a worrying time and any help we can get to keep our girls (and boys) on the right track is greatfully recieved.

ouryve Fri 31-May-13 16:33:17

Well, I'm a mum to boys and my eldest has SN (well both do, but DS2's still at the happily oblivious stage) and he's reaching a point where he's really beginning to stand out from his peers in terms of maturity. Most 9 year old boys are sharing fart jokes and he just wants a tickle. He's never had a close friend. It's never bothered him until recently.

He's also very impulsive and I do worry about the effect on him of being surrounded by people exasperated by his behaviour. It can be a vicious cycle, sometimes.

hermancakedestroyer Fri 31-May-13 17:09:29

~ 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?
Hoorah! A company that is acting to boost the self-esteem of young people especially girls when the media and society as a whole is so image conscious - well done Dove firstly! I thought the site looked appealing and was user-friendly. I think I probably would use this site and would certainly leave it on the computer for my daughter to explore.

~ 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 loved My mosaic and the accompanying video clip. It is so true. You always critique yourself a lot more harshly than other people actually see you. Retouch roulette - a last a game which makes young people realise that celebrities are not always as perfect as they seem.
I didn't really have a least favourite activity.

~ 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?

My DD is 10 years old and I've noticed as her body is changing shape she is getting more self-concious. She said to me the other day 'my thighs are so fat' I said 'why do you think that?' she said 'they are, look at them'. I said to her ' you have a strong body and your thighs are full of muscle because you play lots of sports and are a fit child.
This website couldn't have come along at a better time for us and I will be looking at this site with my DD as a way of starting conversations about self-esteem. I will also be recommending this website to friends with daughters so they can explore it as well.
I don't think I saw any but apologies if I missed it but it may be useful to have a game about healthy eating and also one about personal hygiene. I think eating healthily and having a good personal hygiene routine can also boost self-esteem.
Also writing a letter to yourself as if from a good friend and how they would describe you may be a good idea as an activity.
I liked the my mosaic activity and expanding on that theme it could have an option of 'what went well during my school day today' board or a 'what made me smile today' board or even a 'what I did today that improved my friend's day'.

Overall, loved it, loved it, loved it. Thank you Dove!

they sell skin lighteners ??

joy.

by the way it's not that people are 'insulted' by the stuff on facebook DOVE it's that it is glorifying and inciting violence against women and being a kick in the guts to women who have experienced. insulted sounds a little trivial to me.

however if you can sell skin bleach whilst running this kind of image/campaign your ability to see things in proportion and relation may be skewed.

HanShotFirst Fri 31-May-13 19:40:57

Oh please! Just be honest and don't treat us like idiots. Dove advertises products using their own definition of "real" women and "beauty" so that women and girls who don't fall into that very narrow aesthetic buy their products.

Dove are just angling for the next generation to start thinking that Dove are such a wholesome and great company who really, really care about how women feel and are empowering them to be comfortable in their own skin if you buy this Dove product.

I have two sons who are both under 5 and I want their self esteem to tied up in what kind of person they are (intelligent, empathetic, kind, accepting) rather than how they look and for them to put value in something other than looks when they look at other people.

starkadder Fri 31-May-13 20:37:59

Swallowedafly - yes, they do. All over Asia. Not just deodorant either (do a google image search) - also face cream etc.

Total hypocrites, actually. I don't usually get worked up about big companies but in this case...confused

ashesgirl Fri 31-May-13 22:30:38

Dove is trying to profit from women's insecurities, just in a different way. They're still selling beauty products whatever way you cut.

If you were genuinely concerned with improving young girls' insecurities, you would be teaching them to focus on other stuff rather than flogging them more beauty products.

And Dove's brand has been massively damaged by their inaction on the FBrape campaign. It was slightly embarrassing to read their stilted, impersonal cut and paste responses on their FB page. As Marketing magazine points out, the damage to their brand could last for years.

MarshaBrady Fri 31-May-13 22:39:53

I'm glad others think it's a dupe. Dove is one of the last places I would go to get information on how to boost my dc's self esteem.

ashesgirl Fri 31-May-13 22:43:42

Yep, marsha. In fact, I think it's awful they're targeting young girls under the guise of education. Really awful.

MarshaBrady Fri 31-May-13 22:47:49

Ashesgirl I know. Any commercial brand is itching to get younger customers buying into their spin. And as education, pah.

manfalou Fri 31-May-13 23:06:46

I do think its a good idea but having a teenage brother I know how much pressure he feels too about looks etc ...Would be nice to see boys featured too.

Fluffymonster Fri 31-May-13 23:10:56

I'm another one who was surprised and disappointed at the lack of action from Dove regarding the #FBrape campaign.

I saw its repeated promises of "aggressively" pursuing a solution, while not doing anything much (Aggressively looking the other way? Aggressively thinking about profits?) - when other high profile companies were pulling their ads.

It's especially disappointing, when Dove sells products aimed at women, and markets the brand as 'women-friendly'. You'd think a campaign regarding FB condoning domestic violence and 'humorous' images of women being beaten/killed, would draw stronger support from Dove apart from lip service, but this was not the case. Instead we had Nissan, and Nationwide amongst others, showing more support by removing their ads, while Dove stood by. Thanks a lot, Dove.

So yeah - any 'projects' it comes out with now, I think, "Yeah, it might be a worthy cause, but I take it with a pinch of salt as you're just doing it as a gimmick."

I do care passionately about my childrens' self-esteem, of course, which is why I wouldn't necessarily entrust it to a profits-driven beauty company like Dove (aren't they all - but pretending it isn't when in fact it so is, is utterly hypocritical). Dove, you are not a friend of women and therefore you are not a friend of my children.

goodasgold Fri 31-May-13 23:13:30

I don't buy that they care more about women than profits. I'd go for almost any other brand. Most of them don't peddle hypocrasy.

Cynical pile of duplicitous marketing shite.

Very shoddy behaviour by Dove over the FB thing too.

And they sell skin lighteners and are associated with the lynx brand? Blimey, what's not to like? hmm

ravenAK Sat 01-Jun-13 05:28:40

Still some big questions to answer about use of palm oil, too.

Not a company I choose to buy from.

Hands off my daughters with your faux-education marketing. As & when they need it, I can buy them other cheap skincare products with less hypocrisy attached.

The actual product's quite good; I have a free sample Dove cleansing bar which is an OK soap & not too harsh. But this campaign puts me off buying it tbh.

MardyBra Sat 01-Jun-13 06:44:04
oohaveabanana Sat 01-Jun-13 08:48:59

Dd is 7 & already much more looks-conscious than I was as a child, but currently very confident in general.

I am positive about the idea of helping children understand body myths in the beauty industry, but this wasn't doing anything great IMO.

I'm not hugely impressed by the site - hate the overall look, so girly and tampon-ad style, feels dated although I accept that might be back in fashion, had a few glitches with the basic usability ( am on ipad)

I wouldn't use it with dd, didn't see anything I felt was especially powerful or relevant, although I like the idea of activities you could email your child.

I thought the retouch activity was really disappointing. I've seen that issue tackled so powerfully before (using morphing techniques, giving more detailed examples) -the before photos were so small the differences looked very slight. This is such a huge issue, & poorly dealt with IMO. The videos I watched (eg bra one) showers very 'classic' looking girls - white, long hair, feminine) which I found disappointing in the context of the site)

I also very much disliked the overt self-sales (esp suggesting to girls that they asked their teachers to show the videos.) Tonally, felt all wrong.

oohaveabanana Sat 01-Jun-13 08:52:16

Eg women in the media article. Solid, if dull, content, but Illustrated with a picture of a very attractive, ad-style groomed mum & daughter - non white, admittedly, but otherwise exactly the sort of media portrayal the article is critiquing...

Ohwooisme Sat 01-Jun-13 08:58:34

Site took ages to load on my iPad and I lost patience with it. What I did see was styled like a tampax leaflet from 1992.

I love the idea of helping our kids with their self esteem but am cynical enough to realise it's a clever marketing ploy. I've a younger DD and an almost tween DS - they both need support with their self esteem. Also, I really didn't like this statement from Stacie - Dove is 'committed to creating a world where beauty is a source of confidence, not anxiety'.

What about brains? Musical talent? Strength of spirit? Kindness? Humour? We should be making our children realise they are fantastic individuals because of all the things they can do - not because of how they look.

Sorry Dove but I'm not buying it (and yes - you should have pulled your ads from FB. Those pages aren't just insulting, they're shocking and incited hate against your customer base).

ashesgirl Sat 01-Jun-13 09:17:48

As an alternative approach, I might give my daughter The Beauty Myth when she's older, rather than referring her to Dove's self-esteem website.

(Grrr, I'm so annoyed by Dove trying to get teachers involved in this nonsense, to flog their stuff to girls)

www.amazon.co.uk/Beauty-Myth-Images-Against-Women/dp/0099861909

MarshaBrady Sat 01-Jun-13 09:38:09

It's grim isn't it. Perhaps Coke can send in dentists to talk about healthy teeth. At least they don't pretend.

It was better when they did the 1/3 moisturiser line.

ashesgirl Sat 01-Jun-13 09:53:05

smile Marsha

Maybe we make this thread into things you can really do to raise your kids' self-esteem (and boys included, not just girls)

MNHQ - given this is a company that sells skin bleach please, please, please would you consider cutting ties with it and not allowing it to use this website as a marketing venue?

i appreciate you need advertisers but i'm sure there are others queuing up who wouldn't sully your reputation and image.

they market the idea of white is beautiful, black is ugly and then profit from that hideous idea - that's what sellers of skin bleach do. you sell diet pills by making women feel ugly for being fat and you sell skin bleach by making non white women feel ugly for having dark skin.

no company with any ethics or true care for women would be involved in the trade of this toxic crap.

anyone feel like starting a campaign?

oh and on the 1/3 moisturiser line - if you have dry skin i'd really recommend not using DOVE! i tried it and it dried the hell out of my skin. even the deoderant makes my armpits dry and itchy whereas sure and other mainstream brands don't. just go with soap free, ph balanced washes - back in the day superdrug used to do an own brand range of that that i had no issues with.

MarshaBrady Sat 01-Jun-13 10:01:08

We're probably in the corner labeled cynics, perhaps with a pic, in ad land. Perhaps we can reverse this trend for duplicitous marketing which grabs younger customers under the guise of education.

Yes what tools are there? I use a lot of my education when I talk about this stuff, but what else hmm.

MarshaBrady Sat 01-Jun-13 10:03:58

Ha swallowed. I loathe Dove now . All those 'real' women lined up yeuch

MarshaBrady Sat 01-Jun-13 10:13:18

Listing things is probably just giving more ideas. I didn't look at the site, am just going to ignore it and hopefully it will go away.

No I won't for all of the reasons stated above.

lurcherlover Sat 01-Jun-13 10:16:51

I didn't know about the skin bleach shock

Well done, Dove - you've just lost a loyal customer. I've used your soap and deodorant for years but won't be buying either any more. To peddle this website to British women whilst promoting skin bleaching to those in other countries is disgusting. Or is it only us Brits who get to feel confident in our own skin?

The FB crisis damaged your brand, but what has damaged it more is your pitiful response. Those pictures are "insulting"? And I suppose domestic violence is just a bit of slapping around, is it, and you don't really see why it's such a big deal?

I have a daughter and I will make sure she knows about this campaign as a lesson in the duplicitous marketing practices of big corporations. You remind me of Aptamil giving breastfeeding advice.

MardyBra Sat 01-Jun-13 10:24:12

Oh dear Dove. This isn't going well, is it?

it is actually very good for that purpose lurcher - i do a values tutorial in FE and as part of it examine what the advertising and marketing industry tells young people matters (re: looks, thiness, stuff etc) and what it's basic message is to people: you are fat, ugly, smelly, etc but if you buy all this crap you will be slightly less repugnant. i may actually use this website for showing what the same message looks like in a more sophisticated and in some ways even more cynical format and get them to unpick what they see there.

we got that the women and girls all looked like models, all slim, mostlly white etc etc so they'll pick all that out too.

it may also comfort me to know that at least a small cohort of teenage girls who i get to see will be encouraged to pick apart the bullshit manipulation of multi million pound advertising.

it's a bit of a mission of mine to teach youngsters media literacy - and to read the values, beliefs and solutions marketed to them and criticise them and determine to choose their own.

so thanks for the resource dove smile

i also run a project group that is currently making a film on diversity but for our next project may tackle the stuff i've talked about above so maybe you'll even see yourselves on youtube.

ashesgirl Sat 01-Jun-13 11:50:09

Interesting response to the Dove campaign

http://www.sparksummit.com/2013/04/22/real-beauty-real-talk-the-sparkteam-responds-to-doves-latest-campaign/

ashesgirl Sat 01-Jun-13 11:50:18

ooh i like this quote from there:

"What if instead of marketing the effect their product is supposed to have, they actually marketed the product. So, instead of implying “Dove will reveal your ‘true’ beauty” they could say “Dove will make your hair soft” or ”Buy dove if you want to have nice smelling skin.” This puts the focus back on the product and it doesn’t assume the consumer is insecure about how they look or that they want to be more beautiful or that the soft-focus, glowing white world of Dove commercials means anything to them. That is a campaign I could get behind.".

seriously agree with this. market your products and what they actually do instead of trading in insecurities and false, dead end aspirations.

and it would be wonderful if everyone stopped peddling pseudo science transparent non-jargon too.

i think a brand that actually credited women with a bit of intelligence and savviness would do great.

i want to say also that they don't just trade on women's insecurities - they actively create and groom them. so starting on kids and expecting mummy to hold their hand and think she's doing a good thing as she takes part in that grooming process by using this website is grotesque really. seen straight it is utterly grotesque.

Salbertina Sat 01-Jun-13 12:50:00

If anyone esp with dds is a Times subscriber, can thoroughly recommend Melanie Reid's Spinal Column today. V sobering and frank about what matters and what doesn't esp re body image!

CabbageLeaves Sat 01-Jun-13 13:39:49

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?
Hard to navigate. Tampon leaflet sums it up well. So hard to navigate I gave up so cannot really comment more.

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
Didn't find them

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?
Knowing about Dove's links to Lynx and skin lightening puts their marketing campaign in a whole new cynical light. I will probably never buy Dove ever again because of the hypocrisy.
What do I teach my DDs about self esteem? Not to believe any advertisers because they are all trying to sell you something...which means convincing you, you need it.

The whole FB debacle shows how little integrity there is amongst big business. I wasn't a great user of Dove previously but this thread has reminded me to actively boycott them rather than just 'not select'

Nerfmother Sat 01-Jun-13 17:58:15

Just had a quick look and especially at sticks and stones. Why do Emily's friends have adult voices if they are meant to be teens? And as she is in a jumper throughout when do they see the bra? It must be visible then! Plus, hate to say it, but knowing some. Of dd's 'friends' if they knew what she was thinking, they'd be even crueller - girls aren't unkind because they don't understand each other, quite the opposite!

Nigglenaggle Sat 01-Jun-13 20:16:28

So broadly speaking many peoples views are similar. Will be interesting to see if anything changes as a result...

Madamimadam Sat 01-Jun-13 21:40:01

Completely agree with SwallowedAFly and similar posters on here. Wish companies like Dove would credit us with some intelligence. This campaign is mendacious tosh. Wtf are Dove doing in schools?

Didn't know it was the same company that made Lynx. Now, there's a product that's marketed to raise children's self-esteem hmm

Live your values, eh?

Given that Dove is made by Unilever, who are not only responsible for the appallingly misogynistic Lynx marketing but who also tested their products on animals until the EU made them stop, I don't for one minute believe that they give a toss about women. They also sell skin-lightening products and don't use women of could in their Real Beauty campaign, from which I can only conclude that they are racist.

I have boycotted their products for years and would never use a resource produced by then too teach my child about positive self-esteem.

Oh yes, and the appalling response to the FBrape campaign too.

Do they really think women are so stupid that we swallow this "we believe you're beautiful" guff without looking beyond the hype?

I would love a real campaign that promoted self esteem in women and taught them to worry less about their looks, but from the viewpoint that looks are irrelevant rather than that every women is supposedly beautiful, and not from a company with a vested interest in selling beauty products.

Sorry, autocorrect fail. That should be "women of colour", not "women of could".

CoalDustWoman Sun 02-Jun-13 00:24:37

Similar question that I asked on a Boots thread recently:

Don't you feel even a teeny bit hypocritical at attempting be seen to be solving a problem that you have a vested interest in actively creating?

You wouldn't have much of a business if it weren't for insecurities. This is a sop - but to whom?

I agree wholeheartedly with previous posters that this should not just be about girls. I have a 13 year old boy who is extremely self conscious about his body image. He's small for his age (in age 10/11 clothes) and skinny and gets upset by all the negative comments made about him.

PoppyAmex Sun 02-Jun-13 12:29:05

"Oh yes, and the appalling response to the FBrape campaign too."

Agree, the hypocrisy is terrible.

Shame on you, Dove - even Nissan UK reacted quicker and more positively than someone who purports to care about Women's Rights.

PoppyAmex Sun 02-Jun-13 12:38:18

Second picture down next to a Dove ad.

And you address that with that vacuous, meaningless press release to MN'tters? Shame, shame, shame.

DoctorAnge Sun 02-Jun-13 15:28:16

I think Dove think Women must be totally stupid and despise their bodies; news flash - some of us think we look fine and don't confirm to the standards YOU as a corporation are bombarding us with. Also their stance in the FB ad was.... Unsurprising.
We don't need Dove to help Women with their self esteem when their one goal is to convince us we would be smelly, wrinkly and hideous without their glorified bloody soap!

Andcake Sun 02-Jun-13 18:20:26

I've always hated the patronising dove ads but just really looked at the links about Facebook. Hideous. Facebook is where young girls go so maybe instead of creating a website which I bet v few will visit dove should have invested it more wiselyto condemn sexism in social media.

MardyBra Sun 02-Jun-13 18:49:17

Ha Ha. I've just spotted there is a prize draw for commenting on the thread. Have they just added that to entice people to post positively on the thread? (Well, they're not going to randomly choose one of the less positive commenters!)

Madamimadam Sun 02-Jun-13 21:46:43

Mardy, I think they're probably waiting for someone who doesn't feel passionately about their children's self-esteem to come along smile

Nigglenaggle Sun 02-Jun-13 21:53:14

Hmm a little off topic but... they didnt ban that and they ban photos of breastfeeding??????? The world is mad.

Sunflowergirl2011 Sun 02-Jun-13 22:15:53

I have 2 DDs aged under 5. Knowing what I went through as a typical teenager, I do 'feel passionately' about their self esteem. I tell them often that they are beautiful, but also that they are clever, kind etc, to hopefully show them that their looks are not the be all and end all. I also make a conscious effort not to talk about my looks/weight too much in front of them as they already copy everything! But, I 100% agree with all those who have mentioned the hypocrisy of this campaign.... Real women are beautiful but you will be even more beautiful if you buy our products-. and the fact Dove are linked with Lynx, feels even more hypocritical. I realy hope (and from this thread suspect) that most people are clever enough to see this for the marketing campaign that it is.

Theimpossiblegirl Sun 02-Jun-13 22:19:46

2 DDs, age 10 & 12

~ What's your general feedback? The site was slow to load in places but looked really good. The real or retouched game was good and there was lots of information on body image and the media.

However, having read about the skin lightening products and connection to Lynx (most sexist advertising campaign ever) it is hard to take Dove seriously anymore. It seems incredibly hypocritical and unethical to sell a company as caring about body image and self esteem when they make their money off the back of insecurity, low self-esteem and lack of confidence in how one looks.

~ 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? I liked My Mosaic as it reminds me as a parent to help my DDs celebrate all of their qualities, not just the way they look. It is a shame this isn't reflected by Unilever as a company.

~ 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 like to think I'm pretty clued up, tbh. I have an open dialogue with my girls and they are confident and happy at the moment. Their teenage years are just around the corner though, so it never hurts to be reminded. I would have liked to share this site with my tweens but feel uncomfortable doing so, knowing what I now do about Dove.

It is such a pity that a nice idea has been tainted by the fact that is seems to be a mercenary way of targeting a younger customer base, not an ethical or caring move at all.

umabritmum Mon 03-Jun-13 18:58:48

I have a DD aged 6.5 years

~ 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?

The website is pretty well designed, user friendly with the filtering options. Few topics that I read like Encouraging her individual expression, Bullies and teasers, Respecting and looking after yourself are really good to read.

Topics that I feel missing are questions that a growing child might ask , but that which should be answered with great care by a parent

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~ 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.

1- Favourite and 5 - least favourite

1) My favourite was "My Mosaic" - it talked about the individual self about their talents and what they like about them
2) Letter_Challenge - great , will make the child understand about bullying and how to stand up for themselves better
3) What is Beauty - another great exercise
4) Mum Translator - was good
5) Retouch Roulette - Nope! It was a comparison (somehow I feel it has a negative impact)

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~ 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?

My DD is skinny and some grown ups too call her skinny right at her face. She sometimes tells me ," Mom, I do eat well but why do people call me skinny still " My answer to her , "You are growing tall, darling"

My DD is growing and a website like this would be helpful to tackle some basic problems that every mom and child (daughter) would come across like beauty, self-confidence, looks , what other people will think , etc

lindsey3uk Mon 03-Jun-13 19:53:35

My daughter is only 5 and already I think it is so important. In her first months of school even at such a young age she had such a hard time with girls not wanting to play with her. She is not used to this coming from a huge loving family and it really knocked her confidence. She no longer wanted to go to parties and started to say she hated school. I didn't expect it at such a young age and struggled to make her understand. For this reason I think the website is fantastic, unfortunately it is an issue and something out girls and boys alike have to deal with,p. As a parent it is hard to know what to say and how to handle it and any help is always appreciated. I think it should be aimed at a larger age group though because this happens even at a young age.

ShinyPenny Tue 04-Jun-13 02:20:14

If I wanted to raise my DD's self confidence I would not think to use a website created by any soap company, notwithstanding the issues others have raised regarding Lynx, etc. for Dove specifically.

I would get her involved in sports, teamwork, volunteering, achieving to the best of her abilities. I would get her to read widely, opening her mind to the world. Introduce her to feminism.
Doesn't someone on Mumsnet run an online magazine for girls, Jump, that is meant to be about more than make-up? That sounds like something I might encourage her to look at. Not an advert for toiletries vaguely dressed up as something else.

I find it all a bit creepy really, Dove 'campaigns'. And patronising. I know Dove doesn't care about women or their self esteem. If it did, Dove would be a women's charity working to help girls around the world access education or organising marches to protest about page three or something. There would be no soap and no shareholders.

piprabbit Tue 04-Jun-13 02:40:50

I want my DD to have self-esteem, more importantly I want her to be resilient, to experience setbacks but know how to learn from them and how to move on without letting the setback become a permanent hurdle.

I've had a look at the site and I'm not thrilled TBH. The Retouch Roulette is an interesting idea but lazily executed, everyone has been retouched but the women featured are very attractive and the retouching that has been done is almost imperceptible (darkening lips or eyebrows, wearing shorter shorts - so the equivalent of changing your lipstick or clothes) not really the sort of unachievable retouching which leads girls to aspire to impossible body shapes. I've seen the same sort of message done far better here.

it is creepy. it's grooming. worse it's getting mummy to take part in the grooming.

MrsGSR Tue 04-Jun-13 22:22:44

I'm pregnant with our first child so not really in the demographic, but I agree that the roulette is far too subtle, I've seen much better examples of celebrities being airbrushed. The women all have perfect skin, hair and teeth so I don't think really help the issue.

I also agree that the way to improve self esteem is not to focus on beauty at all, but on kindness, intelligence and talent.

Beachcomber Fri 07-Jun-13 08:37:06

I care about my daughters' self esteem.

So I try to keep them as far away as possible from the beauty industry and its advertising and grooming.

HTH

(I have never bought a Dove product and never will.)

Beachcomber Fri 07-Jun-13 08:46:32

I have had a quick look at the website. I notice they seem to have done a survey and one of the questions is;

Who has the biggest influence on your daughter’s body confidence?

The answers are celebrities 50%, friends 25%, parents 25%

Right.

What about advertisers and marketers?

Advertising, for the beauty industry and the fashion industry in particular, is a major influence on female body confidence (particularly when featuring celebrities....)

HelenMumsnet (MNHQ) Fri 07-Jun-13 11:12:38

Morning. And many thanks to everyone who has taken the time to post on this thread and to look at the Dove Self-Esteem Project (DSEP) website.

Apologies for the delay in responding to those of you who had raised some critical points. We weren't ignoring you - we always welcome feedback, as we hope you all know; we've been talking to the Dove team about those particular points and they've been listening to us.

Dove are very keen to invite some of those who've criticised them most strongly on this thread to come along and see some of their work in action. We'll be contacting some of you off-board about this but do please post on this thread, too, if that's something you'd be interested in doing.

Here, also, is Dove's response to the main points of criticism that have been raised...

"Thank you to everyone for sharing your thoughts on the Dove Self-Esteem Project and the website we are developing. We really appreciate your time and feedback, and we welcome your views on how we can improve it. We'll certainly be taking what you have said on board, so we can make it a better and more valuable resource.

"We also take seriously the comments raised by some of you about the wider Dove Real Beauty campaigns - and we'd like to try to address them here.

"Firstly though, the issue of Facebook advertising: as we posted on Friday, we have actively worked with Facebook 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. We assure you that we will continue to carefully review and revisit our advertising and marketing decisions.

"Some of you have also raised the issue of us being part of the same company (Unilever) as Lynx. We do operate as entirely separate brands and those brands obviously have very different target audiences. But we do want to make it clear that Lynx's advertising is designed to be tongue in cheek - in a way that very much aims to make both men and women laugh. Nonetheless, we will certainly share your comments with the team at Lynx.

"Yes, we do sell skin lightening products in Asia. They are used by women to even out their natural skin tone, reduce the appearance of spots, and protect their skin from the sun. We think they are comparable with the self-tanning products we sell in Europe and North America, where women use them to darken and even out their natural skin tone.

"Talking specifically about Dove and our Self-Esteem Project, we absolutely hear your feedback that we need to show far more diversity in our campaigns, and we assure you that we are listening and will address this. Over the eight years since we launched our Campaign for Real Beauty, we have featured older women, less able-bodied women and women from a range of ethnicities but we agree that we can do more, and do better. We also take on board your comments about including boys - as stated in the OP, the DSEP will be working on dedicated materials for boys, so this feedback is very valuable to us.

"We do truly believe that, as a beauty brand, helping women and girls feel better about their bodies is something we can do credibly. We are hugely passionate about it and we believe that widening the definition of beauty in society and taking action to promote better body confidence is something we are well placed to do.

"We've conducted vast research into how feeling bad about how the way you look can impact young people's lives in a negative way – for example, we know that 53% of British girls avoid certain activities because of how they feel about the way they look. It's this sort of statistic that drives the work of the Dove Self-Esteem Project; we want to help improve this picture. We feel strongly that a better sense of body-related self-esteem can help people realise their full potential.

"The DSEP is completely separate to our commercial business of selling products; we never push our brand or any products in schools, and the DSEP certainly isn't about trying to market to young people. Over the last eight years, we have worked in partnership with Beat (the Beating Eating Disorders charity) to help create materials and resources that aim to help young people feel better about their own bodies. It is Beat who conduct the self-esteem workshops, funded by the DSEP, in schools. Any Mumsnetter is welcome to contact us to find out more about these workshops and how they are run.

"We know not everyone will agree with what we are doing but we genuinely believe that a beauty company can help work towards creating a wider, more inclusive definition of beauty in society."

Fluffymonster Fri 07-Jun-13 14:06:45

lurcherlover said something which expresses a lot of the feeling here and elsewhere:

The FB crisis damaged your brand, but what has damaged it more is your pitiful response. Those pictures are "insulting"? And I suppose domestic violence is just a bit of slapping around, is it, and you don't really see why it's such a big deal?

So Dove's response today to this thread, saying:

"Firstly though, the issue of Facebook advertising: as we posted on Friday, we have actively worked with Facebook 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."

Argh. Dove you are NOT LISTENING!! To use 'insulting' as a term for images depicting violence and abuse on women and girls is like saying pictures of the Nazi Holocaust are 'insulting' to Jewish people. It's MORE than insulting. To just describe it as insulting is to trivialise the hate behind it. Don't you get that yet, Dove?

Apart from a few meaningless platitudes and an invitation to engage with you further, what do you have to offer? Apart from a request for how the product-buying public, can help you?

PoppyAmex Fri 07-Jun-13 14:56:28

I agree, FluffyMonster.

That response is typical corporate communication - an entire paragraph that doesn't address the issue at all and just reiterates that Dove aren't prepared to take further action. It's insulting consumers' intelligence.

A total of 13 brands have now moved to pull their ads from Facebook in the wake of the campaign, including Nissan UK and 100 other brands are supporting the campaign. Why aren't you making a robust stance?

Please allow me to post this link again.

How do you reconcile this with your public message?

Who's your target market, Dove? Here's a clue; she's the same gender as the woman who's lying on the botton of those stairs and being insulted by that heinous meme.

lurcherlover Fri 07-Jun-13 15:07:35

I'm gobsmacked that they've repeated basically the same response they made to our earlier criticism of their behaviour on Facebook.

Dove, be very clear on this: you have got this one wrong. You are not handling it appropriately. The only response to the FB debacle that is appropriate, that makes you look like a concerned company, is to pull your advertising from the site until you have proof that FB has taken action to stop those images from ever appearing again (and no, their "reassurances" don't count). That is the ONLY course of appropriate action, and that you haven't done it speaks volumes. What matters more to you? To be seen as a company which opposes dv and will not associate with a site that apparently condones it, or to sell more soap?

For goodness' sake, please talk to us as the intelligent and articulate women we are and stop patronising us. We can see through it and you're just digging yourself a big hole.

Your latest response has made me even more determined to never buy a Dove-branded product again. I have used only your soap in the shower for my entire adult life, so this isn't a decision I've made lightly. But I cannot support a brand which is so dismissive of violence towards women. It would feel like I'm condoning the abuse.

CabbageLeaves Fri 07-Jun-13 16:31:55

Excellently worded platitudes by the communications and marketing team there Dove. Shame you let down your claims with your FB stance

Insulting equals condoning and promoting the beating up, punching, strangling and raping of women in your world eh?

CabbageLeaves Fri 07-Jun-13 16:38:07

I came on this thread pondering if any publicity is good publicity. Perhaps you don't care about the hammering on this thread because at least Dove is getting exposure?

I can't believe that is true so I then wonder what this sort of mauling does to MN business activity....how it impacts on future advertisers. I'd want my product to be pristine to face the MN audience. I wouldn't risk this sort of publicity. So what about reacting and changing rather a load of spin bullshit What about a real intention to listen and respond.

You may think tanning products = lightening (and tbh I agree with you in part ). But it's still marketing a product designed to tell the public they need it because the skin they were born with is not the right colour? How can that fit with your campaign?

ashesgirl Fri 07-Jun-13 16:47:10

I just don't get it. It says they don't push their brand in schools. So why did it have a link for teachers?

MarshaBrady Fri 07-Jun-13 17:30:19

That FB link is awful. Well done to the companies that have pulled their advertising from FB.

Everything else is just marketing junk and platitudes.

I don't mind the soap, I have some Dove moisturiser. But I'll avoid it too now.

Does anyone know if skin bleaching products permanently lighten skin tone or if they're a paint which washes off, like self tan does?

Because if skin lighting products do actually permanently bleach skin, intrinsically altering who a person is, they're hardly comparable to a bit of wash-off orange on the population of Essex.

Either way, I agree with CabbageLeaves that the message is that women are "wrong" the way they are.

MarshaBrady Fri 07-Jun-13 17:34:39

That is, I used to not mind it. Now I just associate it with all this stuff. FB violence included.

starkadder Fri 07-Jun-13 23:48:54

Not good enough, Dove.

As another poster says - skin lightening products being akin to self tanning products - maybe (although, actually, no - it's not the same at all - how could it be, in the world we live in?) but the POINT, Dove, is that you sell and market products that encourage people to try to change what they naturally look like. You want us to be dissatisfied with our natural skin tone and to buy stuff off you to change it. What kind of message is that? And actually, does Dove sell self-tan? Or are you more interested in us all being white, like the majority of people on your website?

And why, in your response below, do you say you've heard the message about self esteem being important for boys too, but then continue to refer only to girls and women in the rest of your reply?

Don't even get me started on the Facebook stuff.

You aren't listening and you're making a pretty poor pretence of giving a shit, frankly.

0/10.

starkadder Fri 07-Jun-13 23:53:11

Oh, my apologies - Dove does sell self tan. Just googled it. "Beautiful glow, disgusting stench", apparently. Nice.

I found a blog from Canada worth a read. Does ?Dove Real Truth About Beauty? Think Women Are Real Stupid?

I didn't realise Unilever are also responsible for Slim Fast - selling women nothing but sugar in a bottle so they can try to make themselves meet society's beauty standards. Being overweight isn't healthy, but Slim Fast is hardly a healthy solution to the problem either.

To be fair to Unilever and Dove, doing some deeper research into skin-lightening creams has revealed that all the big cosmetics companies market them in Asia, including Garnier and Nivea. That's just (sadly) what the consumer demands over there. And telling women there that they shouldn't use it is, I suppose, "whitesplaining".

And I was pleased to find that it's not a bleach as such, just a compound which temporarily inhibits melanin (skin pigmentation) production. Some compounds which do this have been shown to be very harmful but I'm going to give Unilever the benefit of the doubt and assume that, as they are the market leader in skin lightening products, they do their research and their own formulation is as safe as possible.

This still does't change the message given by Unilever and all the other cosmetics companies that we aren't good enough the way we are and if we buy their products we will be less repulsive.

I think what rankles most here is that while most other cosmetics companies don't try to hide what they do, Dove is trying to pretend that it actually wants us to feel better about ourselves. Of course they don't! Confident women don't spend nearly as much money on beauty products! It's the damned hypocrisy that's so galling.

starkadder Sat 08-Jun-13 21:03:14

Exactly! It's the hypocrisy. Normally I wouldn't bat an eyelid at big firms selling dubious products, but to sell this kind of stuff and THEN to come on Mumsnet flogging your bullshit two-faced "self esteem" website...that deserves contempt, really.

cather Mon 10-Jun-13 12:17:59

My son is 11 and whilst he doesn't suffer from any self esteem problems yet I think boys do suffer just as much as girls. My husband had acne as a teenager and was bullied for it and I hope the same doesn't happen to our son.

i haven't read all the recent comments but i cannot believe they trotted out the word 'insulting' AGAIN even after comments on their use of it last time.

are they thick? i mean seriously because to use that word a second time when supposedly trying to placate your critics is beyond stupid.

mind you to say that skin bleach is equivalent to fake tan should be evidence enough of IQ levels. it is desperately sad when a company's pr and marketing department are not only a bit thick seeming but seemingly too thick to realise that other people are not as thick as them.

littlemonkeychops Mon 10-Jun-13 20:19:08

DD1 is only 2 but i already think about these issues. I want to bring her up with a good sense of self-esteem, i give her lots of compliments and always say nice things about others. I do worry about the impact of the media as she grows up though.

dotcomlovenest Wed 12-Jun-13 19:12:05

I have always encouraged body security and it has paid off. My daughter is 13 and thinks that people that go on about their weight all the time a silly.
She is very happy with herself.
This is not the case for her friends and any campaign that promotes body confidence in people and women in general is a good thing.
But agree with the poster who says we need more diversity.

BlackeyedSusan Wed 12-Jun-13 23:00:32

oh my goodness. my 4 year old boy identified the after model as pretty...

I will definitely show my dd, age 6, those pictures. I have been educating her about adverts for couple of years. she will need to be educated about photos soon too.

MrsGSR Wed 12-Jun-13 23:41:25

On the subject of the roulette being too subtle, I did see a video a few years back (made by Dove but I actually think it's a good resource) called 'Dove evolution' I think. It showed a woman going through the whole process, having make up and hair done and then the editing of the photo they took of her. A much better resource than any I can find on the site.

thought of this thread again after seeing a supposedly pro women/natural body type meme on facebook. it 'dared' to show a woman with stretch marks on a very slim body and everyone likes and shares and thinks it's marvelous. i'm baffled by why we're so grateful for such crumbs. why when people want to show 'normal' bodies or claim to be about 'natural' real women don't they show the average real body? are we so disgusted by women as they really are that even when we're pretending to not be dishonest/photoshopped/pornified we still have to pick slim, beautiful women but allow them a tiny bit of actual real world humanity like a stretch mark or being more than a size 6?

thinking about it i actually think these kind of campaigns probably make women feel even uglier and more freakish because they are being told yes others lie but look we're showing real, normal bodies and women with actual real, normal bodies think jesus mine is a thousand times worse than that!

beauty is actually quite rare - i am very far from beautiful but have spent my life being complemented about my looks and treated as an attractive woman and in my youth never experiencing being rejected for my looks or anything YET i don't look anything like these supposedly normal women who would have been in the one in a town level of beauty maybe itms. we give this impression that beautiful is the norm and everything else is the diversion from the rule. the reality is that beautiful is incredibly rare (hence the worshipping of it maybe), there's quite a lot of pretty and there's a hell of a lot of beautiful eyes, nice legs, lovely necks, fine pairs of breasts etc spread out amongst us. the whole package is rare beyond belief itms.

i would love to see ACTUAL average normal women with a focus on what is beautiful about them rather than the alternative to perfect being perfect a decade on, or perfect after a baby or perfect in a size 10 instead of 6.

seriously look around your friendship group, your colleagues etc and see how many of them, if any, are actually of the supposed attractiveness level of advertising (even the 'we're doing normal women' advertising). look around the playground at pick up time at the little girls and see how many of them you can actually envisage on that dove website. i honestly can't think of ONE in ds's school and there are some lovely, pretty girls just nowhere near this cardboard cutout standard of 'right'.

then look at the friends who you think of as pretty and you know men see as attractive and realise that they aren't good enough for dove's 'normal women' standard.

then think jesus who gives a flying fuck about this shite that is so far removed from reality it is unbelievable. the idea that your body or face should have to compete with the one in 100,000+ freak of nature is farcical.

sorry for the rant.

SunshinePanda Sat 15-Jun-13 15:34:36

I wasn't sure how useful the website would be for myself and DD. We tend to chat about things more casually as they crop up. I did like the roulette game though and think that could be useful. So overall maybe a bit too contrived for me but would dip in if an issue needed addressing.

So MN has contacted me to ask if I want to meet the folk behind the project. I don't think I'm interested (life is quite complicated enough, I don't have anything to say to them that I haven't already said and I don't really want t hear anything more from them), but I was wondering if anyone else is going to take them up on their offer?

starkadder Sun 23-Jun-13 22:44:36

Haven't contacted me but if they did, I'd feel the same as you, tbh.

MarshaBrady Sun 23-Jun-13 22:47:41

They contacted me too, I said no thanks.

they contacted me too. i'm not sure what the purpose would be. to meet the people behind it and find out more about it is what it said i think. reality is that even if they wholeheartedly believe they're doing something right on and for women and have heart felt intentions.... well that's not going to change how i feel about it really. it's marketing on insecurities. now it might be packaged differently to make out ah but we're helping those insecurities rather than directly trying to deepen them but it's all part of the problem and in some ways i think this is more insiduously damaging because of the sheep's clothing effect.

MarshaBrady Mon 24-Jun-13 08:15:38

Yes it doesn't matter how it's dressed, how slick, how real I don't agree with the underlying aim so it wouldn't be a good use of my time.

ratbagcatbag Mon 01-Jul-13 12:51:19

I think boys can have self esteem issues too, were very lucky that my DSS (14) is very easy going and thanks to this he's not an easy target for bullies despite having long ginger hair which gets lots of positive and not so positive comments. He has just hit puberty ( a lot later than most of his classmates) and is now suffering spots too, again he doesn't care what people think, but I know from what he's said about his friends, some are really struggling and get very upset by comments that others make.
I also agree it depends where you fit in at school, again DSS is mega sporty, but happy in his own company so doesn't feel the need to get approval from others, however looking at his Facebook feeds,a lot of school girls aren't the same, posting semi naked pics and then stating tings like "boobs look good in this bra shock but I'm fat" there is NO fat at all on these, they then wait for the comments to roll in.

JedwardScissorhands Mon 01-Jul-13 19:36:00

Positive parenting is great for promoting self esteem.

zipzap Thu 04-Jul-13 22:00:07

I'm a parent of young boys so this isn't directly aimed at me but I had a quick look - immediate reaction was it looked like it had been designed by Tampax or Lilets rather than Dove.

As far as boys self esteem goes - yes, very important and starts quite young. DS1 is 8 and watching him interact with friends recently at sports day and the school fete - he is still short for his age, others have started to shoot up in height and it's definitely affecting the way some of them are treating him, even though he is a clever thing who can outrun most of them (I'm trying albeit not succeeding in explaining that he is able to keep up with his class both physically and mentally, it's just that he's now obviously shorter than some kids who he counts as his friends and I would have said were his friends. And yet they were being quite dismissive of him and calling him little thing etc even though they've always played nicely together in the past, all gone to each others birthday parties etc). He seems to be ignoring it and carrying on cheerfully but it does get to him sometimes. For me seeing it first hand and such a change from seeing him in similar situations last term it makes me very sad. And certainly there's not much I can do to change his height, or other people's reactions to it.

stephgr Sat 06-Jul-13 02:47:25

my daughter is only 6 and has no concerns about her appearance or anyone else's.
Looking at the site I think the best thing is the feature on silencing your inner critic is great but it's way too brief. The features on the website really only scratch the surface of self-esteem problems.

aGnotherGnu Sat 06-Jul-13 08:19:47

Been meaning to post on this thread for a while. I hope the Dove team know that for every poster there are 100s of lurkers who are reading and forming opinions about their brand.

If you are really serious about self esteem I would like to see you attempt to tackle some of the root causes rather than messing around with websites. Ie the objectification of women and the constant communication girls receive that the most important thing about them is the way they look. This begins with the gender split in play (see the mumsnet campaigners Let Toys be Toys). The boys get the construction, science and physical toys because they are "clever and active". The girls aisle gets pink sparkly shite, passive "quiet" toys and prettification. So girls are educated from the start that they should keep quiet and look pretty.
Same for clothing: branding in my local Clarks is something like "because boys are tough on their shoes" and "because girls love style and comfort". Or something similar. Know your place girls.
Children's tv 8 times out of 10 features a male lead. Female characters are usually weaker and passive. So we set up our girls to believe that they are weaker, an supposed to play a role in society where how they look is the most important thing they have to offer.
So Dove, how about working with the people who drive all this stuff to try to address why society does this to girls in the first place? And that includes beauty product advertisers, lads mags, page 3 as well as the cases above. Far more impact than games on websites.

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