Thursday, December 13, 2007

Dove Reality Diaries - Four Girls Share Important Insight

One expert, four girls, a few tears, six weeks, and a watershed of growth - that's the Dove Reality Diaries in a nutshell. But that is too simplified. How do I breakdown into a few paragraphs the transformations of Sydney, Chelsea, Jordyn, and Irene? I'm not sure I can. This morning I watched each of their video diaries and was amazed at how candid they were about their feelings and struggles. I marveled at how seriously these teenagers took the self-esteem exercises. They trusted Jess Weiner, author and self-esteem expert, to guide them along the way to their authentic selves.

No more hiding behind a mask of make-up, depending on boyfriends to complete them, or devaluing their reflections in the mirror. These girls are now armed with the tools to confidently face the world. The best part - Any teen anywhere in the world can watch the transformations and interact with the girls and others on the website. There is a message board and a link to ask Jess for advice. There are packets of information to download and tests to take that help evaluate where a girl stands in relationship to herself and the images pushed on her by the media. Every young girl/or woman/and I'd expect anyone who uses the tools on the site has the opportunity to confront their own issues and move toward change just as the four girls did.

On December 18th there will be a live chat with Jess Weiner and the girls from the diaries. Jump in, add your opinions and questions. Jess directs the conversations with thought provoking questions and topics. To get a feel for these live chats Dove has posted a transcript of the first conversation.


Here are some disturbing facts about what young girls and women are facing in our society today:

One-third of all girls in grades nine to 12 think they are overweight, and 60 percent are trying to lose weight.

Only 56 percent of seventh graders say they like the way they look.

Studies show that 57 percent of girls have fasted, gone on diets, used food substitutes, or smoked more cigarettes to lose weight.

Research also shows that messages girls receive from the media can damage their feelings of self-worth and negatively affect their behavior. More than one in four girls surveyed feel the media pressures them to have a perfect body

Girls who watch TV commercials featuring underweight models lose self-confidence and become more dissatisfied with their own bodies

As a result, girls question their own beauty: between 50 and 70 percent of girls of normal weight believe they are overweight.

Dove wants girls to know that it doesn't have to be this way. Their global plan addresses the whole girl/woman from body image to intellectual development. This is something that should be applauded in a corporate culture that values profit over all else. We have a long way to go and even Unilever, the parent company of Dove, could make a few changes to align their other products (i.e. AXE body spray) with this positive school of thought.

Even so that doesn't discount or diminish the good being accomplished by the Dove campaign for Real Beauty. Every movement starts somewhere. I'm hoping more companies and brands will follow this shining example.

10 comments:

Toadee said...

I have been extremely impressed by Dove's campaign to value real women, what a breath of fresh air.

Peter said...

Hi! To be blunt, I blame the media for the difficulties being faced by all women, especially impressionable young girls in regards to body image issues.

I realise some have recognised this fact and are changing tact. They are to be congratulated.

In relation to the young girls, I can't help thinking that in their race to be look and act much older, they are be leaving themselves open to pressures and issues that even much older persons have trouble handling. It's no wonder they can't cope.

The only hope for these girls is for the entire media industry to get on board and correct what they have done.

Regards from a mere male!
Peter

peteej said...

It's quite a bold move for Dove to be running this campaign. I applaud them for executing so well. It seems they are sincere in their intentions.

I agree partly with Peter on the blaming the media, but in reality I place much of the blame on consumers of media. Unfortunately, people have been trained to think of the media as "the way it is" with no other alternative. I say turn off the television and read this blog instead. :D

Lisa McGlaun said...

Toadee,

I'm impressed too. Now I want more companies to follow suite.

Peace,
Lisa

Lisa McGlaun said...

Peter,

You are right but the issue is so complicated. The media is just one spoke in the wheel. They can certainly do better. Stop the ads that use sex to sell products to a young consumer. Stop photoshopping ads and celebrity photos, making girls reach for an ideal that does not exist in nature. That would be a good start.

Of course, parents need to counteract the message our kids receive. Turn off the tv, talk, model the examples we want them to follow. That would help also.

Thanks for your input on this important issue that affects all of us, male and female.

Peace,
Lisa

Lisa McGlaun said...

Peteej,

That's the answer...create our own reality instead of passively allowing media to do it for us. Turn off the tv, read a book instead of a gossip magazine, get out in your community instead of sitting in front of the computer all day...even if I do want people to read my blog..:) Go outside and enjoy life, now!..lol

And thank you for the compliment..much appreciated.

Best Wishes,
Lisa

geraldo said...

Olá dear Lisa,

I came to know your space beacause you are Wen's friend "La Delirante". She has passed to me a beautiful tag made by you.
Anyway thanks for the gift.
Best wishes from Brazil.
Geraldo
http://www.geocities.com/geraldom3

Lisa McGlaun said...

Hi Geraldo,

I wish I could take credit for making the badge but it was passed on to me as well..:) It is really nice. I'm so glad you found my blog. Come back again and leave a comment.

Peace,
Lisa

La delirante said...

Hi Lisa! I had not heard about this campaign but it sounds really good. "These girls are now armed with the tools to confidently face the world". That is one of the most important tools a girl can have: Confidence :)

Have a lovely week,

Lisa McGlaun said...

Wen,

You're right and Dove has brought together some of the best mentors in the world for girls to learn from. I'd love to go to the Woodhull Institute and learn from Naomi Wolf and her peers...if only..lol..someday when I have a wad of cash I'll go.

Peace,
Lisa