Did you know?
- 6 out of 10 girls will stop doing the things they love because they feel bad about their looks.
- A girl’s self esteem peaks at age 9.
- Seven in ten girls believe they are not good enough or do not measure up in some way, including their looks, performance in school and relationships with friends and family members.
- Looking at magazines for just 60 minutes lowers the self esteem of over 80% of girls.
- 20% of girls won’t give an opinion because they feel bad about their appearance. 25% won’t go to a social event or party. 15% won’t go to the doctor. 16% won’t go to school.
- 71% of high school girls aren’t happy with themselves
This makes me sad. And concerned. Because what will the future look like if girls let a low self esteem hold them back in life? And it’s not just girls. It’s boys. And it continues into adulthood, so it’s women and men too.
Can we make a pact? Let’s try to change these statistics. I know you know someone who could use a boost of confidence. Someone who doesn’t know how great they are. And needs a little reminding of what makes them special.
Here’s the really cool thing: this is one of those things where it only takes one person to make a difference. Will it be you?
And if we all tried it? We’d set off a fantastic chain reaction of good feelings and improved self esteem in others, at the very least.
And at the most? Maybe you’ll be the one to inspire someone to go after their dream. Maybe that dream will be to cure cancer. Or win the Olympics. Or inspire and teach others.
Or maybe that dream is just to stay in gymnastics. Or run track. Or act in a play. Or go to a high school dance. Or become more outgoing.
Whatever the dream, no matter how big or how small, it matters. Think back in your life to people who may have made that difference for you. How did they make you feel? What did they say or do that helped?
So what can you do to make that difference? Use positive words about yourself and others. No matter what you look like or weigh, don’t obsess about it in front of a child or teen. Help children develop a healthy self image. Remind everyone of the good you see in them. Tell them:
- I care about you. I love you. You matter to me.
- Here’s what makes you great…
- When I look at you, I see…
- I’m here for you. I’m listening. I want you to talk to me.
- I’m proud of you because…
- You are important to me because…
- You are awesome at…
- It was so great when you…
Need more ideas or help to get started? Download the Dove Self Esteem Guides and Let’s Talk Toolkit. (I was not paid to write this post - these are just excellent free resources I highly recommend). The guides are specificly geared towards mothers, teachers and youth leaders of girls, but anyone will find them worthwhile.
So back to that pact I suggested… it doesn’t take a village. It just needs you. You can make a difference. Are you in?
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