Helping youngsters realise they’re beautiful just the way they are
From social media celebrities to the picture-perfect world of fashion, we’re bombarded by unrealistic beauty ideals and harmful stereotypes, which are proven to lead to feelings of low self-esteem and anxiety. Dove believes that the way you look should be a source of confidence and not anxiety. The Dove Self-Esteem Project provides teachers, parents, caregivers, guardians and youth leaders with valuable resources (created with body image experts and leading universities, including psychologists from the Centre for Appearance Research at the University of the West of England) to show young people just how special, individual and unique they really are.
Since 2015, self-esteem boosting messages have reached 850 000 young South Africans, aiming to have reached 1 million by end of 2021
Four years, and hundreds of workshops and programmes later, the Dove Self-Esteem Project continues to help South African girls and women rethink their potential and build their confidence. But the work doesn’t just stop there, the initiative has a huge global impact, reaching over 70 million young people across 142 countries since 2004. In South Africa we aim to reach an additional 300 000 young people every year.
2018 saw the Self-Esteem Project being taken to some exciting new places. By partnering with Cartoon Network’s Steven Universe, Dove reached young people in a new and exciting way, on TV and online. And by teaming up with South Africa’s Department of Basic Education to help get that bold message of real beauty out to over a million young South Africans by the end of 2021, Dove aims to make more and more of an impact in the realm of self-esteem.
This is where we address the impact of social media and provide a confidence kit for adults to use in talking to the young people in their lives to help protect South African youth from the damage that can be caused by social media and toxic beauty stereotypes. Via research done with girls in South Africa, we uncovered that by the age of 13, 83% of girls have used a selfie editing or retouching app or filters to change or distort the way they look. Dove has developed a confidence kit to help with this.