Can an hour improve a girl's self-esteem?

I am working with the Dove Self-Esteem Project to help today's girls develop a healthy self-image. Girls today are bombarded with negative messages and images that tell them that they aren't enough. They navigate a 24/7 stream of social media and pop culture that can leave them comparing themselves to the highlight reel of others. 6 out of 10 girls believe the media and advertising set an unrealistic standard of beauty most women can’t ever achieve, which leaves girls feeling demoralized. Since 2004, the Dove Self-Esteem Project has helped more than 29 million young people develop a positive relationship with the way they look – helping the next generation develop the confidence they need to reach their full potential.

Helping a girl shift the script on positive self-image doesn't have to be a huge endeavor. Just sitting and talking through these concepts . . . even just for an hour . . . can make a lifelong impact. With this in mind, Dove created the #HourWithHer, a toolkit for talking about confidence and self-esteem with young women. From learning how to interpret destructive messages in the media to helping girls navigate toxic friendships at school, the Dove Self-Esteem Project provides free, accredited educational tools and resources addressing today’s biggest barriers to a girl’s self-esteem. Best yet, it's available for anyone to use with a girl in their life.

I spent an hour of time with my daughter India, talking through how she sees and feels about herself. It was illuminating. For the most part, she feels pretty great about herself. But she does have moments where she can really lack confidence and spiral into self-doubt. We talked through one moment like that . . . when she went to a new dance class for the first time. Using the Dove Self-Esteem Project's prompts, we worked through the negative script that was playing in her head.

I loved how the writing prompts then had her write a better script - and she was able to articulate better thinking patterns and a more resilient and realistic way of seeing herself in that situation. I used to work as a therapist and I've always thought the idea of writing a new script is a powerful way to change our narratives about ourselves. We then read the scripts she wrote, and talked through how the second script set her up for more success.

You may have seen that last year, Dove and Shonda Rhimes partnered to tell the stories of real women boldly expanding the definition of beauty in their communities. This International Women’s Day, join Dove and Shonda Rhimes to change how a girl sees herself and imagines her potential – your #HourWithHer can improve a girl’s self-esteem for a lifetime. We can all do our part to make beauty a source of confidence, not anxiety, for women and girls. Visit to access resources and activities to use during your #HourWithHer. And for a chance to receive a box free, leave a comment letting me know who you would spend your hour with.

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