Dove(R) Provides Reality Check on Beauty, Boys and Body Image

Groundbreaking Online Reality Show Explores Teen Struggles with Self-Esteem

Nov 13, 2007, 00:00 ET from Dove

    GREENWICH, Conn., Nov. 13 /PRNewswire/ -- The Dove Campaign for Real
 Beauty is challenging the stereotypical views of beauty with a new online
 series designed to give teens a "reality check" about factors impacting
 their self-esteem. Dove Reality Diaries will follow four real girls as they
 share their personal struggles with self-esteem issues including beauty,
 boys and body image. The program creates a unique environment to help young
 girls learn from and support their peers who are working through similar
 self-esteem issues. Girls today are bombarded with unrealistic,
 unattainable images of beauty. The series promises to be a revealing
 first-hand account of the day- to-day challenges teens face in an era where
 magazine covers are airbrushed and plastic surgery is mainstream.
     Girls can visit to watch Irene, 17, from
 Johnstown, N.Y.; Jordyn, 17, from Harker Heights, Texas; Sydney 17, from
 Los Angeles, Calif.; and Chelsea, 17, from Burbank Calif. featured in the
 six-week online "reality show." Blog entries and confessional video diaries
 will document the girls' progress as they work with self-esteem expert and
 global ambassador for the Dove Self-Esteem Fund Jessica Weiner to get real
 about cultural and beauty stereotypes, plastic surgery and family
 pressures. Viewers will see a no-holds-barred, honest glimpse into the
 girls' hearts and minds.
     "Impossible standards of beauty are not confined to Hollywood, they
 pervade every aspect of girls' lives no matter where they live, often with
 alarming consequences like eating disorders and self-inflicted injury,"
 said Weiner. "Dove Reality Diaries is a groundbreaking forum for girls to
 open up about self-image and follow the journeys of young women dealing
 with similar issues. We hope girls will join the dialogue by posting their
 own messages and using the site's self-esteem-building tools."
     The site also will feature live chats with the four girls and two "talk
 back" workshops hosted by Weiner. In front of a live teen audience, Weiner
 will help the girls tackle scenarios that can challenge a young woman's
 self- esteem and offer tools on how to better handle these situations.
     Dove Reality Diaries is part of a long-term commitment by the Dove
 Self- Esteem Fund to reach 5 million girls globally by 2010 with
 self-esteem building programming. It supports programs that help girls
 realize the images they see in movies and magazines represent an
 unrealistic standard of beauty, not an everyday achievable look. This phase
 of the Campaign was developed in response to startling new research about
 the factors that influence girls' body image. According to the Dove
 Self-Esteem Fund (1) :
     -- More than four in 10 young women said they only see their flaws when
        they look in the mirror,
     -- 77 percent said they would trade bodies with a celebrity
     -- 25 percent would consider plastic surgery
     -- 29 percent said being criticized by guys influenced how they felt about
       their bodies
     "Dove Reality Diaries was conceived as a critical component of our
 mission to reach girls with self-esteem programming," said Kathy O'Brien,
 Dove marketing director. "The online series will allow girls to see the
 self-esteem issues their peers face and learn how to manage those issues so
 they don't get in the way of a happy, healthy lifestyle."
     Self-esteem building tools are available on the site for girls watching
 at home and include; self-esteem quizzes, games, articles, lessons and
 message boards. There is also a forum to ask Weiner questions about
 everything from body image and boys to popularity, peer group pressure,
 family issues and much more.
     Moms and mentors interested in more information on how to make a
 positive difference to the young people in their lives can visit for more self-esteem building tools, footage
 from the Dove Self-Esteem Fund workshops featuring celebrities inspiring
 girls to think about their beauty role models in a new way, self-esteem
 experts, and "Onslaught," an attention-grabbing viral film that dramatizes
 the barrage of images and messages girls constantly face to illustrate the
 destructive impact images of unattainable perfection can have.
     About the Dove Self-Esteem Fund/Seventeen Body Image Survey
     StrategyOne, an applied-research consulting firm, conducted a
 nationally representative online survey among 1,014 girls and women ages
 13-22 in the US to better understand the factors that impact their body
 image. The survey, which has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.1 percent
 at the 95 percent confidence level, was conducted using the online field
 services of Harris Interactive. Nancy Etcoff, Ph.D. (Harvard University)
 and Ann Kearney-Cooke, Ph.D. (Cincinnati Psychotherapy Institute), Dove
 Self-Esteem Fund Advisors, provided expert guidance on the study.
     About Campaign for Real Beauty
     The Dove Campaign for Real Beauty is a global effort that is intended
 to serve as a starting point for societal change and act as a catalyst for
 widening the definition and discussion of beauty. The campaign was created
 in 2004 after the brand commissioned a global study that found that only
 two percent of women around the world describe themselves as beautiful.
 Employing various communication vehicles - advertising, a Web site,
 billboards, events and a Self-Esteem Fund - the campaign invites women to
 join in the discussion about beauty and share their views of it with women
 around the world. Women's response to the campaign has been overwhelmingly
 positive; nearly 4 million visitors have joined the conversation at
     About Jessica Weiner
     Jess Weiner is America's "Queen of Self-Esteem." For over 13 years, she
 has been on the front lines of women's issues with visits to the
 boardrooms, classrooms and living rooms of women and teens around the
 world. The best- selling author, advice columnist and self-esteem expert
 has inspired millions of women and teens to become Actionists TM by taking
 action in their everyday lives. Her lifestyle brand with Jess (TM) is
 committed to transforming the issue of self-esteem for women and girls
 worldwide. Recently named the Global Ambassador for the Dove Self-Esteem
 Fund (DSEF), Jess will play a vital role in the 2007/2008 DSEF global
 campaigns in the U.K., France, Germany, Italy, U.S., and Canada. For more
 information visit
     About Dove
     The Dove mission is to make women feel more beautiful every day by
 challenging today's stereotypical view of beauty and inspiring women to
 take great care of themselves. Dove, manufactured by Unilever, is the No. 1
 personal wash brand nationwide. One in every three households uses a Dove
 product, which includes beauty bars, body washes, face care, anti-
 perspirant/deodorants, hair care and styling aids. Dove is available
 nationwide in food, drug and mass outlet stores.
     About Unilever
     Unilever (NYSE:   UL, UN), one of the world's largest consumer products
 companies, aims to add vitality to life by meeting everyday needs for
 nutrition, hygiene and personal care. Each day, around the world, consumers
 make 160 million decisions to purchase Unilever products. The company has a
 portfolio of brands that make people feel good, look good and get more out
 of life.
     In the United States these brands include recognized names such as:
 Axe, "all," Ben & Jerry's, Bertolli, Breyers, Caress, Country Crock,
 Degree, Dove personal care products, Hellmann's, Knorr, Lipton, Popsicle,
 Promise, Q-Tips, Skippy, Slim-Fast, Snuggle, Suave, Sunsilk and Vaseline.
 All of the preceding brand names are registered trademarks of the Unilever
 Group of Companies. Dedicated to serving consumers and the communities
 where we live, work and play, Unilever in the United States employs
 approximately 13,000 people in more than 60 office and manufacturing sites
 in 24 states and Puerto Rico - generating nearly $10 billion in sales in
 2006. For more information, visit
     Randi Liodice/Edelman
     Stacie Bright/Unilever
     (1) The Dove Self-Esteem Fund/Seventeen Body Image Survey