In the digital age, social media has become increasingly popular as it paved the way for easier communication and content sharing. The downside, however, is that these online platforms have also become a place for selfies and other images that have shaped some of society’s unrealistic beauty standards and affected how people see themselves.
That was exactly the topic of our open conversation at the launch of the Dove Self-Esteem Project—a campaign that looks to boost the confidence and self-esteem of girls all over the world and help each other out. It offers three modules that include the Confident Me module for teachers, Uniquely Me module for parents and Free Being Me and Action on Body Confidence for youth leaders that have impacted 20 million young people across 139 countries thus far.
At the recently-concluded event, the following misconceptions on body image were discussed, which provided us with a better understanding of how media can influence our own thinking and how we can deal with appearance pressures as we strive to be our best selves.
Myth #1: There’s only one definition of beauty. “There’s always this one thing—everybody thinks we have to look like this one model,” observes Gabby Roa-Limjoco, Founder of Play Works Early Childhood Center. “I was just telling my friend about somebody I listened to—she’s a plus size model and her confidence is amazing. It’s knowing that she’s beautiful and knowing that skin color, body size, they vary.”
Myth #2: A confident girl is someone who constantly keeps up with the journey of others. “There’s just so many things we can be now. It’s being confident in what you can do and the many ways you can be without comparing ourselves to other people,” Gabby continues. Janice Villanueva, Founder of Mommy Mundo adds, “You do you, diba? So you celebrate what you have and then highlight the best parts of it. I think Dove played a role in communicating that to us as well.”
Myth #3: Being skinny is everything. As for Dove brand manager Jackie Manago, being thin doesn’t necessarily mean one is healthy. “Crash diets, starvation, all of these things—yes, you probably shed a few pounds but it isn’t tantamount to being beautiful especially if you feel weak and you are incapable of doing what you have to do like focusing on your studies or carrying out tasks.”
At the end of the day, it’s being comfortable in your own skin that does wonders to oneself, according to Janice. “I think it’s really just knowing that deep inside, you’re enough and you have your own strengths, and on your own, you are a person that’s worthwhile.” Gabby then concludes a good thing to do is to start looking inwards. “Compete against yourself—try to do better, know that you can actually do better.”
To know more about DSEP, go to http://www.dove.com/selfesteem.
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Photographs from Dove