Sunday, November 29, 2009

Do you know about the Dove Self Esteem Fund

I've struggled with my weight and my body image for most of my life. It's just a part of who I am. And I just sort of dealt with it and whined about my weight and exercise and things like that.  I've successfully lost weight in the past, and know I can do so again. But the problem goes deeper than that, it's about how I see myself and my level of self-esteem and the comments I make about myself- not just about my physical appearance, but about who I am.

And I am not alone in this, and the problem is not limited to adult women. In fact, a recent report released by Dove found that the majority of girls in the 7-10 age group feel they do not measure up in some way including in looks, performance in school and relationships. That just makes me sad to read that.  7-10 year olds are still babies- they should be out playing with their friends and enjoying life, not worrying about their appearance and whether they measure up to other people's expectations. 

Then came the moment last January when the ultrasound technician said "it's a girl", and this whole issue got so much bigger.  My husband immediately started worrying about how to handle having a teenage girl and her dating and things like that.  And I immediately started thinking about frilly dresses and hairbows. I have a 2-year-old son, so I've been dying to dress someone in frilly dresses and hairbows. But after that initial excitement settled down, I realized that being the mom of a daughter is a big responsibility. So much of her view of how to be a woman, and the things she thinks about herself and says about herself are going to be hugely influenced by the things I do and say.

That's why I love things that encourage women to see their intrinsic beauty, no matter their size or body shape. I love the Dove Campaign for Real Beauty and always smile when I see the ads. So I was happy to have the chance to write about the Dove Self Esteem Fund. This is a great new part of the Campaign for Real Beauty. The Self Esteem Fund works in both the US and in other countries. In the US, the Self Esteem Fund supports the Boys and Girls Club of America and the Girl Scouts of the USA to help build confidence in girls 8-17, through after-school programs, self-esteem building events and educational resources. In the UK and other countries, the Self Esteem Fund supports an educational program called Body Talk. Since 2006, Dove has conducted nearly 2,700 educational workshops worldwide.

Every time you buy Dove products, part of your money goes to help support the Self Esteem Fund. And, between now and December 15, 2009, you can also help out even more by going to this link and entering your Dove UPC codes and selecting the charity to which you would like to donate. For every UPC entered, $1 will be donated to self esteem programs at either the Girl Scouts, Boys and Girls Clubs of America and Girls Inc. What an easy way to make a difference in someone's life!

There's also a link on their website to a nice online program for use with your daughters. Go check it out. And go here to see some videos of girls whose lives have been touched by these self-esteem programs.

Disclaimer: I was not compensated for this post, but Dove is going to be giving away some items to you, my readers. Check back soon for that!