If you follow us on Twitter, you might have seen us tweeting about the Dove South Africa’s #NoLikesNeeded campaign. It is such a powerful and necessary discussion about self-confidence and where we derive it from. This campaign is specifically targeted at teenagers and their parents.
As new parents this campaign really hits home and makes us feel compelled to get involved and take some time to reflect on the pressures that exist in the society our kids are living in. My baby sees me applying make-up and nail polish and wants to use it too. She wants to try on mommy’s heels and put on my necklaces. Which is absolutely fun and adorable, but one day, this little princess of mine is going to be a teenage girl that might just be applying foundation to make herself feel better and to make herself feel valued. That’s a scary thought.
Now don’t get me wrong, when I get dressed up and dolled up, it gives me a boost of confidence and can help me feel prepared to take on the world and its challenges. However, without being dressed up and dolled up, I still feel comfortable enough to go out into the world without feeling less of a person or not good enough.
Social media has brought on a dynamic that we need to pay close attention to. For those of us raising children or planning to raise children, we need to actively put thought into what we need to do and what we need to ingrain into our children to correctly affect the way they view themselves.
To understand the pressures and social media habits of South African women, Dove recently conducted a global Beauty and Confidence survey. The results showed that a staggering 68% of women believe there is a lot of pressure to show the best of themselves on social media and 61% said they like social media as they can control their appearance and the way they look to others.
Below are more facts on the insights gained in this study. If you have the time, please share your thoughts on social media using the hashtag #NoLikesNeeded
Although South African women and girls are least likely to display avoidance behaviours compared to the other countries in the study, those identified with low body-esteem still avoid fundamental life activities when they don’t feel good about the way they look:
- 49% of women and 35% of girls with low body-esteem in South Africa report opting out of important activities, such as engaging with friends and family, participating in activities outside of the house, and trying out for a team or club when they don’t feel good about the way they look.
- This is significantly lower than the global average of 85% for women and 79% of girls with low body esteem
- 33% of women and 25% of girls with low body-esteem will not be assertive in their opinion or stick to their decisions when they don’t feel good about the way they look – this includes skipping a job interview, missing work or asking for help when they need it
- 37% of women and 19% of girls with low body-esteem have stopped themselves from eating or otherwise put their health at risk (e.g. not seeing a doctor) because they don’t feel good about the way they look
South African women and girls are also demanding a new definition of beauty and taking time to care for themselves:
- 65% of women and 72% of girls wish the media did a better job of portraying women with diverse physical appearance, and of varying age, race, shape and size
- 87% of women and 85% of girls say they want to look their personal best rather than follow other’s definition of beauty
- Nearly all (93%) women and girls feel more confident and positive when they take time to care for their mind and body including their appearance
- Nearly all South African women (90%) and girls (91%) believe every female has something about her that is beautiful – higher than the global average of 83% and 82%
- 90% of women and 91% of girls are proud to be female and gladly embrace it