Credit: Leonita*

Credit: Leonita*

There is an important project currently being run by Dove, the champions of beauty through their Real Beauty campaign, and it has touched me in a reflective way, inducing some well needed soul searching. At any age women grapple with issues around positive body image, beauty and gender stereotypes on a daily basis and in various forms. We think we are less than or not as good because we see airbrushed supermodels on the covers of magazines who have become the standard of beauty. We’ve stopped teaching ourselves to strive to be anything but ourselves.

You’ve probably seen some of Dove’s beauty campaigns helping women realise that real beauty is what matters. Now it’s time to talk to young girls and young women – who in  their growing years contend with some of the same body issues, albeit in a faster more connected and more expectant world than when I was younger.

The project, aptly called The Dove Self Esteem Project, is aimed at helping to dispel low self-esteem in young girls around the world by creating content for parents, mentors & teachers that empowers them to start conversations around body image, beauty, self-esteem and to re-establish or instil self-love in our young girls. I was asked to contribute to this project and while researching all the content on the user-friendly website –Self Esteem Project –  I was struck by how I didn’t have this sort of perspective or support for my self-esteem growing up. My only points of reference depended on the women in my family and magazines; which really didn’t represent me. There is a difference in how you feel about yourself as a 14 year old and when you are 30. There is something different about speaking to elders about sensitive issues that you think no-one actually understands. The thing about that adolescent age is that we simultaneously know-it-all and feel completely isolated by the things we think we know and no one else could possibly be experiencing. So I thought the best way to contribute in any valuable way to the project – and hopefully inspire you reading this – would be for me to reach back and speak to my young self and tell her everything is going to be alright. What better time than this season of reflection.

Five things I’d like to tell my younger self:

  1. Be Present

There’s always something to look forward to, plan for, strive for and this is a good thing. Sometimes we worry too much about what may or may not happen and we lose sight of what is happening right now. In all the things you want for yourself in life and everything you work for, you are not wrong, but you will sometimes forget to just be in the present moment. By being right where you are and absorbing everything around you and learning to feel what you feel in that very moment you teach yourself how to appreciate even the little things. You will want to “move on” when things are tough, I ask you to please allow yourself to be in that moment whether it is good or bad and fully experience it. You will teach your heart to laugh when it is light and be strong when it is dark. This is how you will be passionate about anything; being present.

2. Be kind

Even when you are angry, be kind. When you are happy, be kind. The thing about kindness is that no one can take it away from you. There will be times when someone upsets you, maybe hurts your feelings and because we are human and prone to lash out in these times, you may feel that you must retaliate. You are allowed to feel hurt and angry, but there will never be a need to be malicious to anyone (even if they deserve it). Remember to be kind not only because it is one of those things about your character that will be remembered and loved, will also feel better about it as the world turns because we receive what we put out. The world goes around with love and kindness.

3. You are always in season

I know that you wonder if you are good enough. Who told you that you are not? Tell them that the reason there are so many people is that we all bring our uniqueness into the world and we are each necessary. We cannot all be the same, otherwise what is the point? We all offer something specific and important to the universe and it is your job to be who you are at all costs. No matter what you look like, you are always going to be in season because you are you. You will sometimes feel a little low, but don’t let yourself get down; remember that you are necessary.

4. You are everything you believe

The saying goes; “if you think you can or you can’t, you are right”. It may sound like a cliché young one, but it is true. Our thoughts and words become actions and perspectives. It is really important that you know that your thoughts will guide how you feel and how you act. If you think you are not beautiful, you will believe it and you will go through life thinking   and acting as if you are not. If you think you are capable, you will believe it and you will go through life thinking and acting as if you are. So be aware of what you think, and even if you have to fake it to yourself, think only the best. Dream big, because why not

5. Try, fail, and try again

Not everything you do will result in a win. The difference between a winner and a loser is the one who tried again. It is not always going to work out the way you want it to, but please don’t give up. The strongest and most successful amongst us fell but then they got up again. Know that you can. Believe that you can, then try. Try and try again. Even though this is meant to be a letter to my younger self, it is exactly what my adult self needs to remember and live by everyday

Please visit the site: http://selfesteem.dove.co.za and see how you can help a young girl remember that she is valuable and important


Have you seen the #likeagirl video? Always video championing confidence in girls by attempting to make people change their thinking and stop seeing or referring to things done ‘like a girl’ as insults. Well, 13 million page views tells me you might have.

Have you seen one of Dove’s many “beauty” championing videos, specifically the one called Camera Shy? It is a montage of real life reactions of women who are faced with a camera and proceed to do what most women do naturally, hide. A question is asked at the end – when did you stop thinking you’re beautiful?

Both, very  powerful and purpose serving. Both speaking to women and girls, but also one speaks specifically to young girls and the other, to women. To me, different, but also similar.

The other day I was caught off guard by this tweet claiming that Always plagiarised Dove. Having seen both these videos, I questioned my recollection of them and had to ask – did I miss something?

tweet

The premise may be similar – raise confidence. The execution is similar – using true to life scenario and normal people. This does not scream plagiarism to me. It is storytelling. It is using of human insights specific to a target market and creating communication that may change perspective.

Here are the two videos – please share your thoughts.

DOVE:

 

ALWAYS

 

Maybe I’ve missed something. Maybe plagiarism is a too strong word. Maybe.

THOUGHTS?

 


This morning read something about Dove creating a Beauty Patch to help women feel more beautiful

I was skeptical and properly rolled my eyes.

I watched a video showing the journey of women feeling more beautiful. At first I was annoyed with the idea that confidence was just a patch. I wondered what chemicals these women were putting into / onto their body. I was practically screaming at my computer screen “you have to love yourself, all of you, as you are, and you have to work at it”.

I felt a little cheated watching these women take the short cut on a road I’ve been struggling with recently – not feeling beautiful. I don’t think it matters if someone else thinks I am, it’s about me believing and feeling my best, and for a little while my mojo was gone. She’s coming back though.

No short cuts, but I realised that any helping hand, big or small, to believe in yourself goes a long way, so I’m not mad at Dove for continuing to be that helping hand – no matter how strange it is

Watch the Dove Beauty Patch journey. And remember to smile. (They say smiling even if you don’t feel like it tricks the brain to think all is well and stop fretting over the little things)


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Hello from a stranger. As you know, received a wonderful gift of goodies from Dove a while back to try out their new Dove Lotions. Right off the bat – I love. Winter skin is not anyone’s friend and getting a little help to keep it healthy and happy is always a pleasure. I tried out the Dove indulgent nourishment body lotion with Shea butter for about a month – a little longer than planned – and I am so glad I did. What it feels like? Like a second comforting skin. In winter I would usually use a thick body butter to lather and protect my skin so I was a little sceptical at how smooth and soft the cream is. Surprisingly it does just as good a job if not better than thick butters I’m used to. It absorbs very quickly and lathers really smoothly on skin without the icky feel. The true test is how long it lasts for such a smooth and fast absorption. Dove body lotion is amazing at that all day moisture without having to touch up any areas during the day. Even using it at night was a pleasure because the scent is not heavy and I didn’t feel oily and sticky in bed. Thanks Dove, you have a fan! A

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