Friday, October 5, 2012

The @Dove Self-Esteem Weekend 2012 - Start the Conversation! #DoveInspired

Statistics show that women have trouble taking a compliment. When you tell a woman her dress is beautiful, she is prone to say 'This Old Thing?'. Why is that?

I have always wondered why this was so, and so does Dove. If you do too, you can participate in a Nationwide Conversation where you can join women across the country from October 5-7th, when Dove will be holding a nationwide rally to talk about Beauty, Confidence and Self-Esteem. Use this weekend as the impetus to commit to talking to the girl in your life during this weekend and beyond about both Inner and Outer Beauty. It all starts with a simple conversation and it all starts with you!

Anxiety About Looks Begins at an Early Age and holds girls back from reaching their full potential

Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ - 72 percent of girls (ages 10-17) feel tremendous pressure to be beautiful

Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ - Only 11 percent of girls (ages 10-17) are comfortable using the word beautiful to describe themselves

Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ - When girls feel bad about their looks more than 60 percent globally (age 15 to 17) avoid normal daily activities such as attending school, going to the doctor, or even giving their opinion

Aren't those statistics sad and shocking? Don't know how to begin the talk? Download the Guide HERE, it gives you great starting points and questions you can ask to help you learn what your daughter, god-daughter, or niece feels about herself and about Beauty. The initiative is also available in Spanish, where it is titled 'Vive Mejor Hablemos' or "Let's Talk". As a Latina, I am super happy to see that the initiative is being done in Spanish as well as English! Empowering our girls before society can knock down their self-esteem is essential! They still won't find enough faces they can relate to in mainstream media, so raising confident young women and instilling that within them while they are still young is very important!

The initiative can be found on Facebook in both English and Spanish and you can follow the conversation on Twitter by using the hashtag @Dove #DoveInspired as well.

My family was great at instilling Self-Esteem, which was important because the school system as well as other students when I was younger certainly tried to knock it down, and having that strong foundation made it easier for me to remain confident even when the world told me I shouldn't be, even when the television really didn't have any faces I recognized or could relate to. Even though I was born here, my mother was and my maternal Grand-Mother was too, and we spoke 'perfect' English, I was pulled out of an honors class and put into an ESL class WITHOUT my parents consent. That day I told my mother and the next morning she was at the school correcting the situation. But it was scary and was a confidence shaker, and even though it was quickly corrected it was just a reminder that I was 'different' somehow from everyone else.

But the things that rob young girls of confidence are universal issues, bullies, boys who don't know how to be respectful, and more, it's up to us to make sure we keep up with the pulse of what that young girl in our life is going through. For me as a lifelong music lover I keep track of all things music and videos, and the highly sexualized lyrics and videos of much of today's popular music is actually having a very detrimental effect on the Self-Esteem of young girls. We need to be sure they understand that being objectified isn't beautiful and they should NOT feel like that is how they need to act or look to be beautiful, to be confident, or to be accepted.

When one of my nieces was younger, she accompanied me and another of her Aunts to a popular department store and we were swimsuit shopping for an upcoming family vacation. She picked up the skimpiest bikini on the rack much to my dismay and ran to a mirror and held it up to herself and said she wanted it. I knew that was my opening. I did not want her thinking that was appropriate or acceptable, she was way too young for a bikini, but most importantly I wanted to understand why she felt that swimsuit was important to her. What made her think it would make her more beautiful?

Me being the youngest Aunt there is an automatic assumption I will be the 'fun Aunt', but being fun and allowing them to get away with murder are two very different things. I always turn out to be 'tougher' than they expect. But for me it's teaching them life lessons in a way that makes them understand how to make the right choices, not just for the adults in their lives to make it for them.

In my family Inner Beauty was given the importance many place in outer beauty, we were taught one of the most beautiful things you could do was share with others less fortunate. Achievements were recognized not with bribes for doing the right thing, but acknowledgement for a job well done.

Teenage actress and singer KeKe Palmer, a voice of inspiration for girls, will kick off the weekend with a march to Times Square in New York to call for a national discussion on girls' self-esteem. Dove is committed to inspiring all women and girls to reach their full potential, and the weekend is one of the many ways in which the brand brings to life its vision to create a world where beauty is a source of confidence, not anxiety.

KeKe Palmer will join 250 members of Girls Scouts of the U.S.A., Girls Inc., Boys & Girls Clubs of America and The Young Women's Leadership Schools (TYWLS) as they march alongside their moms and mentors. The girls will carry signs saying "Let's Talk," in an effort to ask women everywhere to start a conversation on beauty anxiety that girls experience and how it impacts their self-esteem. My mom actually brought the First Girl Scout Troop to our borough, and I remember all the struggles she went through back then trying to find space, trying to rally the parents to take the organization and what it could do seriously and not just use it for a free after-school child sitting service.

"Like most girls there have been times when I have felt insecure about my looks," says KeKe Palmer.  "I am lucky enough to have a mom that I can turn to in these moments. She helps me feel more confident, and I know girls everywhere need and value that kind of encouragement. The Dove Self-Esteem Weekend is all about starting a conversation and helping girls develop a more positive relationship with beauty."   ~ Keke Palmer
Even the Award Winning Keke Palmer has experienced being bullied on twitter, she recently confided in a Huffington Post Interview. Even celebrity does not shield girls from attacks to their self-esteem. Empower your girls today!

Amazing Things can Happen When We Come Together – in English AND in Spanish

Dove Self-Esteem Weekend events will take place in cities across the nation, including New YorkMiami, and Los Angeles.  Boys & Girls Club of Venice, Calif., will host an event for 1,000 people on Saturday, October 6th. Teen singer Jessica Jarrell, who joined the brand earlier this year as an ambassador for the "Women Who Should be Famous" program, will perform.  In Miami, parenting expert, People en Espanol columnist Jeannette Torres-Alvarez will host a parenting workshop about helping girls develop a positive relationship with beauty.  Look online at for further details about an event near you. 

The Dove Movement for Self-Esteem aims to reach 15 million girls globally with self-esteem programming by 2015. Together with experts and key partners, the brand has reached more than 9 million girls. The commitment to this goal is underscored with a Spanish-language web platform that will house self-esteem resources and reach countless more girls. Women who wish to access these materials in Spanish can visit

Your Purchase Counts - Discover the Dove® Difference

Dove is committed to inspiring all women and girls to reach their full potential. The Dove Movement for Self-Esteem invites all women to join us in creating a world where beauty is a source of confidence, not anxiety. Each time you buy Dove you are helping them and their charitable partners provide inspiring self-esteem programming for girls. They have reached more than 9 million girls so far and with your help they can reach their target of 15 million by 2015. Your day to day purchases can help to empower so many!

As for me, I never felt more beautiful than when I presented my College Diploma to my Mother, it was her dream for me because she didn't get to finish, and I think we BOTH shined that day, check out our happy faces below:

Achievement is beautiful, Honesty is beautiful, teaching your daughter she's beautiful, letting her get that positive feedback from YOU will shield her from a world of hurt later on!

Butterfly Do you KNOW you are beautiful? You ARE!

˙·٠•● Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ ●•●•٠·˙˙·٠•● Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ ●•●•٠·˙˙·٠•● Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ ●•●•٠·˙

FTC Disclosure: This is part of a sponsored campaign via Latina Bloggers Connect and Dove. However, all opinions expressed are my 100% own.

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