Building Self-Esteem in Your Tween

I’m seeing a lot of this in my home lately.  Just the right hair do.  Just the right clothes.  This time it was the “messy bun.”  You know, the messy bun that has. to. be. just. perfect.  Two weeks ago she stood at the same mirror primping for a wedding.  The dress.  The hair.  The jewelry (that she asked to borrow from me).  She did it all herself, and she was beautiful.  I would have grabbed the camera, but then I would have had to explain my tears.

This girl, she is my heart.  She is also my oldest, and these new waters are slightly terrifying.  I can change a diaper with the best of ’em.  My superpower is producing liquid gold to nourish my babies.  I know Old McDonald and all his animals, and am not afraid to belt it out with full animation in hopes of preventing the dreaded 5 minute car nap.

It’s the beauty that scares me.  How will my growing girls ever know how incredibly beautiful they are, inside and out?  How do I strengthen their confidence and build them up in all the right ways?  How do I help them navigate the unsteady waters of the teenage years that I am sooo not old enough to have forgotten?!

6 out of 10 girls stop doing what they love because they feel bad about their looks.

That is just wrong. 

Even if I had never used their products (and oh, I had!) previously, the Dove commercials I’d see on TV (when we had more than one channel ~ ahem) always made me want to go out and buy stock in the company.  Lining up beautiful real women of all shapes, sizes, and skin tones… totally pulled at my heart strings and my purse strings.  😉

Dove is still using their brand to build up women’s self-esteem.  Join women across the county this weekend (yes, I’m always the last to know), October 5-7, when Dove will be holding a nationwide rally to talk about beauty, confidence and self-esteem. Commit to talk to the girl in your life during the weekend and beyond – it all starts with a conversation. (Obviously, if you can’t share over the weekend, any time is a good time to start the conversation.)

Not sure where to start? Download the Let’s Talk Toolkit for conversation starters and strategies for a successful chat with the special girl in your life.

You can also share your commitment to girls’ self-esteem with your friends on Facebook! Visit Dove’s Facebook Page or use the Send a Note of Confidence Link to select your message and share with your friends.

Dove® research shows that it is still important for us to address girls’ anxiety about looks, as there is a universal increase in beauty pressure and a decrease in girls’ confidence as they grow older.  (As a mom to three girls, the following statistics are troubling):

• Only 4% of women around the world consider themselves beautiful (up from 2% in 2004)
• Only 11% of girls globally are comfortable using the word beautiful to describe themselves
• 72% of girls feel tremendous pressure to be beautiful
• 80% of women agree that every woman has something about her that is beautiful but do not see their own beauty
• More than half (54%) of women globally agree that when it comes to how they look, they are their own worst beauty critic

SOURCE: Dove Research: The Real Truth About Beauty: Revisited

I know there are going to be days when the messy bun is a little too messy.  There are going to be zits, and tears, and broken friendships.  It happens.  But always, the beauty.  The confidence.  I want that for my girls!

How will you make it happen for yours?


Disclosure:  This post is sponsored by Dove.  I don’t know that anyone has ever paid me to shed tears before.



  1. I love what you said about unknown waters. It’s true that by the time you’ve had a few kids, breastfeeding and diaper changes are easy (or at least easiER!), but the older issues become more challenging. I’m grateful for the time I have left to convince my daughter of how beautiful she is before the world and the media start to get to her. I’m also grateful for parents who taught me how beautiful I am. It’s nice to be able to look in the mirror, even when I’m feeling “fat” (or really am fat for that matter!) and see that I have beautiful eyes, or that I love my smile. I’ll be happy with my parenting if my daughter can find things about herself that she loves no matter what else there is going on. Beauty is on the inside, but we still feel critical of those external things about ourselves, and it’s important to acknowledge that that helps shape how our children see ourselves.

  2. Michelle G. says:

    I am reading 5 Conversations You Must Have With Your Daughter by Vicki Courtney with some ladies from my church. I HIGHLY recommend! Lots of great (and scary!) info. She emphasizes the importance of these conversations being ongoing and having open lines of communication.

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