Thursday, 6 August 2015

Leaving a Positive Beauty Legacy

One of the perks of blogging is that every now and then a company will contact you and give you samples of their products. When Dove contacted me saying that they would like to drop off a small gift, I thought, awesome, I am almost out of deodorant and body wash anyway (ha ha ha). What I got was even better. 

I must admit that I was a bit confused when I found a package with an empty jar and some post-it notes until I read on and discovered the purpose of the #BeautyLegacy Kit, which beats free products hands down (okay, there were two bars of soap in the package as well but those were incidental.) Thank you Dove SA!!!

In celebration of Women’s Month, Dove has launched a film to illustrate the importance of women seeing beauty in themselves. Watch the Youtube video here (I strongly recommend it). Dove's research shows that 71% of girls feel pressure to be beautiful, but are less likely to be anxious about this if they have a positive role model. Dove has thus asked women to make a difference to the next generation of women by leaving a positive beauty legacy. 

As a mother of daughter's, this means not passing on your own insecurities to your daughters. This of course made me think about whether I am doing anything which will make Noodle feel self-conscious about any aspect of her physical appearance. I know we have always emphasized inner over outer beauty but it has made me contemplate whether there are any non-verbal messages relating to body image and whether I am passing on any of my own body insecurities (which let's face it, most women have) to my daughter.

Despite being just four, I can already see signs of insecurity about certain aspects of her body, for example she hates her toes, which she says are boy toes (I have no idea why, her toes happen to be very cute). I have to wonder if the fact that I often blow dry her beautiful curly hair (more for convenience sake as it is less knotty this way) sends out a message that her curls are not beautiful. This jar serves as a reminder that we need to be positive influences in all aspects of building self-esteem in our daughters.

So what is the empty jar all about? The #BeautyLegacy Jar is to be filled with positive messages and affirmations on the post it notes- things that you would have loved for your younger self to hear and to pass these on to the next generation of girls in your life. When having negative thoughts, you can be inspired by these positive messages.You can also leave positive messages around the house or in your daughter's lunchbox. Noodle cannot read very well yet, but I will be filling the jar with positive messages that she can read when she is older.

Tips for leaving a Positive Beauty Legacy for Your Daughter

 Here are some excellent tips from Dr Colinda Linde:
  • Make your daughter media literate and to develop a critical eye.
  • Steer clear of competition with other mothers about how you or your daughters look.
  • Steer away from negative talk about other girls' looks.
  • Meet every compliment about your daughter's appearance with at least two about other aspects which are not based on appearance.
  • Help her build skills that are independent of appearance.
  • Talk about aspects of yourself that you genuinely feel good about.

The Dove Self-Esteem Project
The Dove Self-Esteem Project delivers self-esteem education to girls aged 7-17 years through lessons in schools, activities for mentors, online resources for parents and partnerships with youth organizations. 

Education programmes and fun interactive activities can be downloaded at You can also share your #BeautyLegacy story on Dove's Twitter (@Dove_ZA) or Facebook (Dove South Africa).