Self-confident, empowering, beautiful. When young girls and even women are asked to describe themselves, these three words rarely are used together, let alone even one of them. It starts at a young age where girls listen to how their mothers describe themselves around their daughters and then trying to find a worthy role model is a search where many come up short. Magazines, television, the Internet, and of course social media --these are all places where mixed messages are sent and it leaves women feeling less than perfect. But that's the key, more girls need to have the understanding that there is nothing wrong with being a work in progress -- it's much better than pretending to be perfect.
We all remember Dove's Real Beauty campaign and now Always and Pantene have joined in the movement to help with self-confidence and to empower women. Always is focusing on young girls as brand-commissioned research found half of girls report a drop in confidence after their first period. Their goal is to turn the phrase "like a girl" from an insult to being a real compliment and boost self-confidence.
I've added the ads below in case you haven't seen them:
I am so thankful for the amazing example of a female in a leadership position that played a huge role in my life, Julie Nimmons. She is known as a mogul, leader, game-changer, but the best of all, she's my mom. She raised me to be confident and always wanted me to know that I could be anything and do anything I wanted in life. Her list of accolades is amazing including being on the list of the 25 Leaders to Watch in the Sporting Goods Industry twice, lobbying and testifying in D.C., inducted into the SGMA Hall of Fame, being the CEO of a multi-million dollar sporting goods company -- all while being a wife and a mother. Learn more in her latest feature in the June issue of Sports Insight.
For companies to start focusing on self-confidence instead of "what beauty should look like" is a breath of fresh air. By wearing a smile and having poise and confidence, women can quickly change any perception that might be present about doing or saying things "like a girl".
The respect that my mother gained in the sporting goods world still amazes me, but what amazes me the most is what she taught my sister and me. My teaching moment from this is that today's youth (especially our children) see everything we do. Every time I linger over the mirror frowning at my figure, every time I hesitate before trying something new, every time I question my abilities ...It absolutely starts with me. Confidence travels. What are YOU doing to help young girls gain confidence?
Be confident and courageous if you want to help pass it along.