But reality is that in the world we live in today more and more girls are feeling the pressure to be beautiful. Or at least what society's definition of what the word beauty is. I am now a 28 year old woman but I remember the pressures of fitting in in middle school and even worse, high school. Thankfully I had the support of my amazing mother, my awesome aunts and older cousins, they made me feel loved and beautiful and were always there for me. So when I was asked to participate in Dove's initiative Vive Mejor Hablemos "Let's Talk", I didn't think about it twice.
Anxiety about being beautiful is beginning at an earlier age and is holding girls back from reaching their true potential. Did you know that according to research:
- 72 percent of girls (ages 10-17) feel tremendous pressure to be beautiful
- Only 11 percent of girls (ages 10-17) are comfortable using the word beautiful to describe themselves
- When girls feel bad about their looks more than 60 percent globally (age 15 to 17) avoid normal daily activities such as attending school, going to the doctor, or even giving their opinion
My blog is based on fashion, makeup and beauty products, yes. I enjoy it, I love looking through designers newest creations and recreating the looks, but my friends this is all outer beauty. Designer fashions is truly art, art is visual. Makeup, clothing, fake lashes, etc... are only 1 small part of what makes celebrities and people beautiful. Often times what truly defines their beauty is the charity donations, their humanitarian work, is a small trait of their inner beauty.
I would like to help young girls by telling them, they are not alone. More people than they know struggle with this daily, even adults. Beauty and confidence starts on the inside. If you are a well grounded, self-respected young lady with morals, your true beauty will show and people will respect you for being YOU. Here is what I would like to tell young girls like my nieces and cousins:
- Smile! Your smile is more powerful than you can imagine.
- A kind gesture, such as saying "thank you" and "hello" or holding a door open for someone, can truly make a person look beautiful.
- Speak up! Talk to your mom, your sister, your cousin, about what's on your mind.
- Be active! Do things you enjoy, ask your mom or dad to enroll you in a class. It may be dance, pottery, karate, swimming, soccer or tennis... But doing what you love and excelling at it can make you feel beautiful! And guess what? Others will look up to YOU. You will be the inspiration to other young women and believe me that will make you feel amazing.
- Be confident in your skills. Whether you are an A+ student or a black belt in karate or maybe you are really good at baking with your mom or aunt, be sure of yourself. Embrace it!
- Don't let others dictate what or who you are. If you need help defining what you want to be or what you want to do, ask someone who you feel comfortable talking to.
- Communicate! I have 3 cousins whom I adore, they are like my little sisters. And I know they look up to me, so I try to be a helpful "big sister". Whenever we are having girl talk I often relate to their stories and remind them that I was once there too. I tell them my experiences and offer my best advice, whether it's about boys or school... to what they should wear to the next family party, I even do their makeup. And I truly love having that connection with them.
The Dove Movement for Self-Esteem opens up a world of opportunities for women to make a difference. And I want to be that difference. This is a serious issue concerning our children's future. You can too help by starting this conversation today with a young girl you know.
You may also participate in a Facebook chat with program expert, People en Espanol columnist and parenting expert Jeannette Torres-Alvarez this Thursday, October 4th from 7 -8 pm EST on http://on.fb.me/QoGMOY.
Disclosure: This is a sponsored post written by me in collaboration with Dove and Latina Bloggers Connect. All information was provided by Latina Bloggers Connect.