Young girls are impressionable, their self-esteems permeable. Media often feasts on girls’ vulnerability by promoting unrealistic beauty ideals. Intrusive insecurities translate from the mirror to the sports world. Six in 10 girls quit sports and activities because of their looks.
This is the latest finding from Dove, which has been conducting research on body images since 2010. Dove’s newest research suggests that “when girls quit or avoid sports and other activities because of poor body image, they could be missing out on valuable benefits that can stay with them for a lifetime” according to TD Waterhouse Markets.
Dove and Ipsos Reid surveyed 807 Canadian girls ages 11 to 17 and found that nine in 10 of those surveyed view sports and activities as beneficial. Most respondents said participating in sports creates new friendships, forms self-confidence and teaches them new skills. However, six in 10 of those girls will quit because of their body insecurities.
To combat this and help girls reach their potential, Dove has launched “Girls Unstoppable,” a new billboard and social justice campaign. Girls Unstoppable is designed to increase dialogue between parents, mentors and girls about the importance of physical activity and a healthy body image.
Dove has released two 3D billboards in Toronto and is also offering resources to moms and mentors to begin the conversation about body image. Girls and women in Canada and throughout the world are encouraged to use the #girlsunstoppable hashtag on their social networks to raise awareness for the organization and share positive stories about self-esteem and body image.