“We help girls think critically about how they see themselves. Beauty should be a source of confidence, not anxiety.”
— Dre Brown, Dove Self-Esteem Project Educator
This is what Dove Self-Esteem Project educator Dre Brown said during a recent training at a local Boys & Girls Club. As part of an ongoing partnership with Boys & Girls Clubs of America to help young people build confidence, the Dove Self-Esteem Project is preparing Boys & Girls Clubs to implement Dove’s True to Me program with members. This innovative and inspirational program uses cognitive dissonance (and fun!) to get kids and teens to challenge societal and media beauty standards. It also encourages them to question their own biases about beauty and appearance.
True to Me is one of the many no-cost tools, activities and resources for youth group leaders, parents and mentors from The Dove Self-Esteem Project — the largest provider of body confidence and self-esteem education globally.
Why is body confidence for youth so important?
A negative self-image can have a lasting impact on young people. Dove Self-Esteem Project research revealed that when girls don’t have high body confidence ...
- 8 in 10 girls avoid seeing friends and family
- 7 in 10 will not be assertive in their opinions
- 7 in 10 stop themselves from eating or otherwise put their health at risk
Low self-esteem also correlates with lower grades, difficulty focusing in the classroom and avoidance of participating in class discussions. Girls with low body confidence are also more likely to objectify themselves, less likely to hold leadership positions, and less likely to challenge gender inequalities.1
The True to Me
program helps kids and teens build their self-esteem by incorporating body image, or the way we think and feel about how we look and what our bodies can do, into their overall sense of self-worth. It focuses on creating a balanced and diverse self-concept that doesn’t give disproportionate significance to physical appearance.
The program builds on the following body confidence tenets:
- Acceptance of your body
- Respecting and taking good care of your body
- Seeing your body as a positive influence on your life
- Valuing diverse beauty ideals
Meant to be fun as well as educational, True To Me
includes ice breakers, games, break-out group discussions and personal reflections. Though the program was originally designed for 75-minute sessions with extra take-home or extension activities, Dove worked closely with Boys & Girls Clubs of America staff to adapt a single session version to maximize versatility and utilization. It also includes a variety of methods for adapting the sessions to different age groups, mixed gender settings and group dynamics.
Research shows that three years after participating in workshops and activities like True To Me
- 60% of girls have significantly improved body confidence
- 78% feel more confident and capable at school
- 71% have better relationships with peers
- 53% have better relationships with family
Newly trained on how to implement this program in their local Club, Boys & Girls Club leaders received accompanying materials and resources to make their sessions a success.
Learn more about the Dove Self-Esteem Project and Dove’s partnership with Boys & Girls Clubs of America HERE
. And look for True To Me
sessions at a Club near you!
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1. Dove Global Beauty and Confidence Report, 2017