Dove Sponsors Self-Esteem Weekend

Dove Sponsors Self-Esteem Weekend

I love the idea of Dove’s Campaign for Real Beauty, and all of their cool, non-Photoshopped videos and photo shoots featuring actresses who aren’t made up to look like airbrushed magazine ads. The campaign is a bit flawed, in my own eyes, since it stems from trying to sell products that make you prettier on the outside to begin with—and they haven’t used many curvy woman or fat spokespeople (save for Jess Weiner, who may or may not support all sizes anymore).

There are also chemicals in the products that definitely don’t make you beautiful, but instead may be linked to health issues… There are plenty of issues to have with it, really, but I think it’s a great first step that other companies could learn from. Other personal care product businesses sure aren’t making even this effort, so I do applaud Dove for that.

This month, Dove is sponsoring a Self-Esteem Weekend to encourage women to help build their daughter’s self-esteem. The weekend will take place from October 21 through 23, and women are asked to participate by pledging one hour out of the whole weekend to devote to their daughters’ self-esteem. You can find a toolkit here that includes various activities suggested, and you can pledge to take action during the weekend.

I have a few problems with this, too. For starters, some of the activities really have nothing to do with self-esteem, like going to a beauty spa. How is getting a facial increasing your self-esteem, exactly? Most of the activities listed are not things that my daughter would be interested in at all. And the activities start at age 8, so I suppose girls under 8, even though they often worry about their weight by age three, don’t need self-esteem.

But what really gets me about the campaign are these two issues:

  1. Boys, who are increasingly becoming susceptible to eating disorders as well as suicide, are not included
  2. Fathers, who may even be raising girls on their own, are not included, either

Dove, boys have real beauty, too, and they need us to help them love their bodies the way they are just as much as our daughters do. And why excluded dads—to the point of even making your guides titled “Self-Esteem Guide for Moms of Girls”? Dads should be encouraging their daughters’ positive self-concept and self-worth just as much as moms should, if not more. How about adding a few xy chromosomes to your action page, Dove?