As regular readers of my blog know I am passionate about self esteem for children as a former Deputy Head teacher and now as a writer and broadcaster I work with both parents and children developing  self confidence, self belief and strong life long self esteem.

I  also deliver body confidence & self – esteem workshops to teachers, teenagers & parents here in the UK based on Dove’s  Self Esteem Campaign using their resources and videos to teach and talk about ways to give girls, in particular, body confidence and an awareness that images they see in the media are air brushed, photo shopped and changed, removing spots, blemishes and even enlarging boobs and creating faked tans to enhance the images and create a false aura around what is beautiful.

The 2012 Dove self-esteem programme aims to tackle women and girls’ attitudes towards themselves, following research released by SIG, which showed 53% of girls in the UK have avoided certain activities because they feel bad about their looks.

The research also found that 22% of girls won’t go to the beach or pool, while 20% have avoided physical activity or exercise, and one in 10 will not go to the doctor.

Dove’s self-esteem programme has previously run in schools, engaging with more than 800,000 people in the UK, and has invested £250,000 to run one-hour workshops in partnership with the Beat Eating Disorders Association that I deliver.

You can watch me here on Channel 5 News discusssing “Let’s Talk Body Image”

Read my article here “The danger of airbrushing. Start talking to your kids before the beauty industry does !”

Dove ‘s social mission & belief is that beauty should be a source of confidence, not anxiety and they are committed to inspiring all women and girls to reach their full potential so starting and this is their 3rd annual Dove® Self-Esteem Weekend, October 5–7, 2012

Anxiety about beauty begins at an early age, and can even keep girls from doing what they love. and as a parent you can change that with a conversation. This October, reach out to the girl in your life and talk to her about beauty, confidence and self-esteem.

You can find the expert tips and real-world advice to get started on Self-Esteem here then, once you’ve had “the talk,” share your experience to help inspire other mums and mentors too on Facebook

http://www.facebook.com/dove

 

Today I also read a beautiful blog by Chacoy called “I love my red hair and freckles”

Here is her wonderfully inspiring blog.

“I would always hear, “You have the most beautiful red hair,” “I love your freckles.” And I always said, “You can have them!” In my mind red hair and freckles were not something that I associated with beauty, I thought they were ugly and you would never hear me say, “I love my red hair and freckles!”

Anxiety about looks begins at an early age and holds women and girls back from reaching their full potential. According to Dove global research:

72% of girls ages 10-17 feel tremendous pressure to be beautiful

11% of girls between the ages of 10-17 are comfortable using the word beautiful to describe themselves

60% of girls ages 15-17 who feel bad about their looks avoid normal day-to-day activities such as going to school, going to the doctor or giving their opinion

I was the only one on both sides of my family that had red hair, it was unique to see a red headed, freckle faced Latina; even walking in Mexico I would get it all the time, “She is so beautiful”, “A red headed Latina.” So I was always told I was unique and beautiful and that I was “special.”

But to me I was not unique, beautiful or special I was just a naturally curly, fire engine red headed, freckle faced Hispanic girl who looked different from everyone else in her family. I did not always have the best perception of myself, I did not feel beautiful or have great self-esteem. It was not because I wasn’t told I was beautiful or because I had a bad home life. It was hard being a young girl and being made fun of for having a different hair color and freckles; I tried to hide the color of my hair, to disguise my freckles but ultimately I could not and didn’t get the feeling that I was “special or unique” because people were so cruel and even more frightening is that I was the cruelest one.

It was not until my Grandma told me that I wasn’t the only one who felt like this, that I started to see I wasn’t alone and that beauty was something that each of us struggled with. “There are people everywhere who wish they had a different color of hair, skin tone, eye color, that wished they were taller, shorter, thinner or a bit heavier; we are all different and seeing others that are different makes us want to be like that but ultimately you are beautiful for who you are because that is what makes you, you.” And she was right, if I had a different hair color and no freckles would I still think I was beautiful? Probably not! Ultimately people weren’t mean because they didn’t like me, they were mean because they weren’t happy with themselves.

Read the full blog here

Also I would highly recommend the Dove self esteem resources as well. They are free.

Take this quiz for self esteem to get to know yourself

Use these self esteem worksheets to build a relationship with yourself

Go  to Self Esteem Building home page