What are little girls made of?
We all have bad days now and then. We don’t feel like ourselves. We don’t like what we see in the mirror. But often it is assumed that bad body image only happens every once in a while. That we just move on with our lives. It’s also assumed that it’s an adult problem. Not something that little girls – joyful, playful, innocent little girls who have their whole lives ahead of them – even worry about. (Here is how celebrities deal with the scrutiny of being in the public eye.)
Dove – a very visible brand in working on shining the light on women’s and girls’ self-confidence – has released some eye-opening stats. And these numbers will surprise you.
- Nearly 9 in 10 Canadian girls (that is 86 per cent!), who have low body esteem, avoid engaging with friends and family or participating in important activities outside of the house.
This comes from the in the 2017 Global Girls Beauty and Confidence Report. It echoes previous data from Dove from 2010 and 2014.
- 6 out of 10 girls from around the world admit to avoiding at least one everyday activity because of feeling concerned about their looks.
- 1 out of 10 admitting to skipping school for this reason.
And that signals one thing: This must change.
Here’s what we can do
Dove recently launched the Confident Me workshops. And to cope with the changing worlds girls are growing up in, the new workshops are addressing key topics, including social media and the peer pressure that comes from it. (The official launch was October 19, with a Plan Canada International Youth Ambassador working with Toronto area girls in grades 7 an 8.) (Need a confidence boost? These six tips will help.)
Teachers can use the Dove provided resources for five classes or for a single class. It gives girls coping strategies and insight on how they can boost their body confidence and improve their body image. And it gives teachers the materials they need – videos, activity sheets and lesson plans – to lead the girls in an honest and thought-provoking discussion.