This weekend, Oct. 22-24, is being celebrated by many as the Dove Self-Esteem Weekend. As the event's Facebook page describes it: "As part of the new Dove Movement for Self-Esteem, Dove is encouraging women across the country to take simple steps to support self-esteem in young girls during the Dove Self-Esteem Weekend, October 22 to 24"
I think this sounds fabulous. There is so much pressure on young girls to fit in, to be the "right" size, and wear the "right" clothes. So much pressure to grow up too fast. I believe that any event that encourages us, as adult women, to recognise this and try to take small (or large) steps to help build confidence in the young women and girls in our lives, well, that's gotta be a good thing. The website provides lots of ideas of self-esteem building activities and conversations you can have. Check it out.
A lot of my fabulous, beautiful, confident women friends have pledged to take part in this movement and the weekend's activities. I'm proud of all of them. But. I've noticed something disturbing happening in my Twitter feed over the last week or so. A distinct lack of self-esteem being expressed by some of these same fabulous women.
You see, there's been a rash of events happening and being advertised, and many invitations have been received and much excitement has ensued. A huge group of online friends, who've connected through social media, mostly through Twitter and their blogs, are finally going to meet in person. How cool is that?
Wait. Or is it?
Now, we will see what each other actually look like. What size we actually are. Whether or not we have any "fashion sense." How big our butts look in our swimsuits. We will be compared to our avatars and each other, and many seem to fear they will fall short of expectations. How sad is that?
I am not immune to this, believe me. I have been involved in the conversations about the need to shop for a new girdle, of worry about appearing in a swimsuit. The angst over what to wear, to look fashionable enough, thin enough, together enough. I may have begun some of these conversations, for that matter.
But I've caught myself in these distinctly non-self-esteeming interactions, and couldn't help but think of my own recent pledge to take part in the Dove Movement for Self-Esteem. Yeah. I think we need one of those weekends for us grown-ups as well. And I truly hope none of the young gals in our lives have witnessed the incredibly vulnerable and non-confident words we've been speaking, in our angst over meeting our online friends in person.
So, although for the sake of my health, some exercise and better physical fitness are in order, I will pledge to remain confident in myself. In spite of my soft round belly and saggy breasts. (I got them from carrying and nursing my son, after all). I will love my ample behind (I actually always have). And I will refuse to let my non-size 5 body impact on my impression of my beauty inside, my strength and my intelligence. I rock. So do you. Let's go forth and be great confident role models.