An alarming number of girls are turning to destructive action when feeling insecure, and girls with low self-esteem are three times more likely to participate in dangerous behaviors during these times.
-- 75 percent of girls with low self-esteem reported engaging in negative and potentially harmful activities, such as disordered eating, cutting, bullying, smoking or drinking, when feeling badly about themselves-compared with 25 percent of girls with high self-esteem.
-- 61 percent of teen girls with low self-esteem admit to talking badly about themselves (Compared to 15 percent of girls with high self-esteem)
-- 25 percent of teen girls with low self-esteem resort to injuring themselves on purpose or cutting when feeling badly about themselves (Compared to 4 percent of girls with high self-esteem)
-- 25 percent of teen girls with low self-esteem practice disordered eating, such as starving themselves, refusing to eat, or over-eating and throwing up, when feeling badly about themselves (Compared to 7 percent of girls with high self-esteem)
"Low self-esteem among girls and young women has reached a crisis level,"
Self-Esteem Tipping Point
Girls are also craving better communication with adult figures as they struggle with challenges in their lives. The top wish among girls is for their parents to communicate better with them, including more frequent and more open conversations, as well as discussions about what is happening in her life. However, as girls enter their teenage years there is a significant loss of trust and communication with adults, particularly when they are feeling badly about themselves.
-- 67 percent of girls ages 13 - 17 turn to their mother as a resource when feeling badly about themselves compared to 91 percent of girls ages 8 - 12
-- Only 27 percent of girls ages 13 - 17 will turn to their father for help when feeling badly about themselves compared to 54 percent of girls ages 8 - 12. Interestingly, at 16, girls become more likely to seek support from male peers than from their own dads.
"We cannot underestimate just how vital the words and actions of parents
are in fostering positive self-esteem in girls. However, it can be
challenging because adolescence is not typically a time when girls are
reaching out to their parents and speaking candidly," said self-esteem expert
Making a Difference
This fall, the Dove Self-Esteem Fund is extending its outreach in an
effort to tackle the self-esteem crisis among girls. As part of its largest
efforts to date, Dove is continuing to support uniquely ME!, a long-term
partnership with the Girls Scouts of the
The Dove Self-Esteem Workshops for girls have been developed to empower them and promote new ways of thinking about beauty, body image and self-esteem. Separate "Train the Trainer" workshops will also be held in each city for mentors and educators to provide them with the skills and information they need to host workshops with girls in their own organizations.
"We know that if you spend time giving girls new ways to think about
beauty, body image and self-esteem it can make a real difference," said
To ensure everyone has access to self-esteem resources, Dove has developed a range of powerful and engaging self-esteem online tools, workbooks and facilitator training guides for girls, moms and mentors that can be downloaded for free on the Dove Web site. To learn more visit campaignforrealbeauty.com.
About Real Girls, Real Pressure: A National Report on the State of Self-Esteem
Real Girls, Real Pressure: A National Report on the State of Self-Esteem
was conducted nationally online among 1,029 girls 8 - 17, and is
representative of the U.S. based on census indicators (region, ethnicity and
parental education). An additional 3,344 girls 8 - 17 were surveyed in a
targeted study that was conducted in 20 major U.S. cities representative of
each DMA based on ethnicity and parental education. The research was
conducted by StrategyOne, an applied research consulting firm, in
Methodology: Interviews averaged 15 minutes and were conducted
About the Dove Self-Esteem Awareness Measurement
The Dove Self-Esteem Awareness Measurement was developed to provide an indicator of self-esteem encompassing an overall sense of self-acceptance, confidence and emotional orientation among American girls. Each girl surveyed was assigned a score based on how she rated herself in each of these areas. Based on their individual scores, girls were classified into three groups: high, average and low self-esteem. The high self-esteem group was comprised of girls whose scores fell within the top third of the distribution, the average self-esteem group included girls whose scores fell within the middle third of the distribution and the low self-esteem group included girls whose scores fell within the bottom third of the distribution.
About the Dove Self-Esteem Fund
The Dove Self-Esteem Fund was established as an agent of change to inspire and educate girls and young women about a wider definition of beauty. It is committed to help girls build positive self-esteem and a healthy body image, with a goal of reaching 5 million girls globally by 2010. The Fund is part of the Dove Campaign for Real Beauty, a global effort designed to widen today's stereotypical view of beauty.
The Dove Self-Esteem Fund is a global project, which consists of a network
of local country initiatives linked in strategy and direction by a global
steering group. In each country, the Dove Self-Esteem Fund supports a
specific charitable organization to help foster self-esteem. In the U.S., it
supports the Boys and Girls Club of America and the Girls Scouts of the
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(2), which includes beauty bars, body washes, face care, anti-perspirant/deodorants, body mists, hair care and styling aids. Dove is available nationwide in food, drug and mass outlet stores.
Unilever's mission is to add vitality to life. We meet everyday needs for nutrition, hygiene and personal care with brands that help people feel good, look good and get more out of life. Each day, around the world, consumers make 160 million decisions to purchase Unilever products.
Contact: Alison Dunning/Edelman 212-704-4452 firstname.lastname@example.org Stacie Bright/Unilever 201-894-6531 email@example.com (1) Real Girls, Real Pressure: A National Report on the State of Self-Esteem (commissioned June 2008) (2) AC Nielsen (2004)
SOURCE Dove Self-Esteem Fund