Self-esteem. It’s a word often heard during adolescence. How we’re supposed to have it. How we shouldn’t make our peers feel bad because then they lose it. How self-esteem is important because without it we don’t love ourselves enough to know we deserve happiness, love, success, and healthy interpersonal relationships.
Personally, I struggled with my self-esteem as soon as I hit puberty. At 12 years old, I was officially a “woman,” yet still wore a training bra and braces. I didn’t feel attractive. I hated my small bosoms, my thin lips, my long limbs, that I was under weight, and that my curly hair was unruly and always in a bun because I didn’t know how to comb through my tresses.
I wanted to feel like a woman but instead felt like an ugly duckling.
Fortunately, I had and still have a great support system and conquered most of my insecurities. As an adult, I wouldn’t want to have breasts any bigger or smaller. I love my smile and am often complimented on my sparkly whites, so thanks Mami for forcing me into braces. I am funny, genuine, warm, and happy.
I know myself and love myself no matter what I look like.
Look at yourself in the mirror and repeat that message, ladies – young and old. That is the message that young girls should take away from my personal story. That is the message that is relayed by The Dove Movement for Self Esteem and Dove’s initiative Vive Mejor Hablemos “Let’s Talk” (In Spanish).
Dove promotes a healthy dose of confidence, as they believe beauty should uplift young women, not cause anxiety. Statistics show that anxiety about looks begins at an early age and holds girls back (from reaching their full potential). According to a Dove global study, 72 percent of girls (ages 10-17) feel tremendous pressure to be beautiful. Also, when girls feel bad about their looks more than 60 percent globally (age 15 to 17) avoid attending school, going to the doctor, or sharing their opinion.
Thankfully, Dove is here to begin a conversation about beauty and what makes you, me, all of us, beautiful. The Dove Movement for Self-Esteem campaign is committed to inspiring girls to reach their full potential. You can visit the Vive Mejor website, which provides free tools, like a discussion guide developed by Dove Global Self-Esteem Ambassador, Jess Weiner, to help moms and mentors start a conversation on beauty and self-esteem.
Because no woman, no girl, should feel like an ugly duckling.
To learn more, catch the Facebook chat with program expert, People en Espanol columnist and parenting expert, Jeannette Torres-Alvarez, today, Thursday, October 4th, from 7 -8 pm EST. You can also like Vive Mejor on Facebook.
This post was compensated and in collaboration with Dove and Latina Bloggers Connect.