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.
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.