The Dove Self-Esteem Project has launched in Ireland for the first time with the aim of helping young people reach their full potential by disarming beauty ideals and providing free evidence based resources to help foster positive body image and self-esteem from an early age.
According to recent research* from Dove of girls aged 10-17, the majority (87%) of girls in Ireland do not have high body-esteem. This is above the global average and amongst some of the highest globally. This can have significant consequences, causing young girls to miss out on activities and opt out of major life events.
Body image and self-esteem issues can also hinder young girls’ education. Almost two thirds (63%) of girls in Ireland reported not attending a school related event because of the way they felt about their appearance. Worryingly, for girls across Ireland feelings of insecurity about their appearance can affect their education, significantly higher than the global average (51%). Insecurities can also cause girls in Ireland to put their health at risk with 66% of girls reporting they did not attend a doctor's appointment because they did not feel good about the way they looked.
The Dove Self-Esteem Project resources include activity guides and website articles to help parents tackle tough topics like bullying and poor body image; confidence building workshops for classrooms and educational activities for mentors and youth leaders.
In Ireland, girls experience pressures in all aspects of their life, with the pressure to be beautiful ranking higher than the global average. The research reveals 84% of girls in Ireland feel there is too much importance placed on beauty in making them happy and sadly this does not change over time as 85% of women still feel that same pressure girls associate with being beautiful.
Current portrayals of beauty within the media and social media are having a negative impact on how girls feel about themselves, with 50% of Irish girls reporting that they feel worse about themselves when they look at beautiful girls or women in magazines, and 43% feel less beautiful after seeing photos of their friends on social media. This only changes slightly when women were asked the same question, with 41% also feeling the same way girls do.
Speaking about the Dove Self-Esteem Project, Dove Ambassador and TV Presenter, Yvonne Connolly said:
“As a mother of two daughters, I can see first-hand how a lack of confidence can affect young girls in all aspects of their lives. I am thrilled to be working with Dove on the Dove Self-Esteem Project – something that is purposeful and important”
Dove Beauty & Personal Care Marketing Manager, Ireland at Unilever Megan Chadwick said:
“There is a real opportunity to build confidence from a young age by ensuring that young people have access to the right tools to help them deal with the pressures they face every day. Our tools and resources are developed in partnership with self-esteem experts from around the world and are proven to make a positive impact on body-confidence."
The aim of The Dove Self-Esteem Project is to arm the next generation with the tools they need to grow up enjoying a positive relationship with the way they look. The project will help this generation reach their full potential by disarming toxic beauty ideals. The Dove Self-Esteem Project aims to reach the lives of 1/3 of all 11–14-year-olds in Ireland by the end of 2021 through a free programme of evidence-based resources that are available for teachers, parents, mentors, and youth leaders across Ireland.
*Research conducted by Edelman Data & Intelligence, a global, multidisciplinary research, analytics and data consultancy in January and February 2021 with 202 girls in Ireland aged 10-17.