This weekend marks the second annual Dove Self-Esteem Movement Weekend, and Smart Girls Know is happy to spread the word! The Weekend is about uniting organizations, groups, and women and girls everywhere to celebrate self-esteem and positive body images. It’s about imagining a world where every girl grows up with the self-esteem she needs to reach her full potential, and where every woman enjoys feeling confident in her own beauty.
According to Dove, 72% of girls feel tremendous pressure to be beautiful. And when you consider that the “beauty” they’re after is based on something that more than likely doesn’t exist in reality, these 72% of girls are after a goal they’ll never reach.
To counter the messages that girls receive every day from the media about what they need to look like to have value, Dove is encouraging women and girls to pledge to spend one hour this weekend engaged in some sort of self-esteem building activity. But you don’t need to wait for someone else in your community to organize an event…you can participate with your friends and join the movement all on your own. Not sure where to get started? Here are some ideas, courtesy of Dove’s Self-Esteem Movement, to bring a little feel-good-esteem-building action into your life this weekend:
- Create an inspiration board by collecting articles, magazine tear-outs and news clippings that represent issues surrounding self-esteem. Create a collage of positive messages and images, and keep it in a visible place as both an inspiration board and a reminder of how individuality makes everyone beautiful.
- Using a camera or video recorder, take an expedition and capture all of the beautiful things you’re thankful for in people, places, nature, anything! Then, create a slideshow or movie for a feel-good film whenever you need a little boost (my personal fave!)
- Go around in a circle with your friends and share five things you like about one another and five things you each like about yourself. Focus on physicality, personality and character traits.
- Ask each other questions about thoughts and feelings: What do you like about yourself? What are your biggest strengths? Talk about opportunities for growth and make a plan to reach tangible goals. How do you want to feel about your own unique beauty? What can I do to help make you feel confident?
- Be a positive self-esteem mentor and send a girl in your life out with confident reminders by making a Boost Book: Decorate a notebook or sketchpad together and keep a log of inspiring quotations, compliments and positive comments other people have made about the girl in your life. Tuck in a few favorite photos or mementos that remind her of moments when she felt confident and beautiful or just had a great time.
- Create a personal soundtrack of songs you enjoys and that make you feel good. You can listen to it to get pumped up for an important event like a soccer game or dance recital, or turn it on whenever you need a lift.
Last year, as part of the weekend, I hosted a get-together for a bunch of women in my community where we talked about the role and responsibility we have to be mentors to the girls in our lives. I asked women to answer the question, what do you with you’d known at 13? and then made a short film featuring their responses. So what am I doing to celebrate this weekend, you ask? I’m going to be spending most traveling, as I’ll be returning to Seattle from a family vacation in France (tough job, but someone’s got to do it). So this year will be a little more low-key. My plan is to gather my favorite gal pals for a run or workout, followed by the serious consumption of Parisian chocolates over conversation about mentoring, volunteering, and supporting each other in our collective quest to raise children with healthy self-esteem.
So, the big question is, what are you going to do? Are you willing to take the pledge to spend an hour of your weekend focusing on positive self-esteem? If you are, leave a comment and tell me what your plan is and you’ll be entered in a drawing for a signed copy of any of my books (your choice) and a special gift from Dove. So bring it on and let’s talk positive body talk!
Click on the badge to take the pledge!