I was recently contacted by Dove about their latest Self-Esteem Project; the #NoLikesNeeded campaign* at Women in the World. It hit home with me and I feel like its message is something a lot of young women need to hear, understand and involve themselves in. I think it's an excellent internet campaign that will spread a ton of encouragement across the globe and will hopefully help break down the dependance we have when it comes to social media and it "validating" us as people.
The #NoLikesNeeded campaign launches today in the World Summit in London and it's aiming to teach social media savvy young women that 300 likes on an Instagram photo, means absolutely nothing unless YOU like yourself.
"The Dove Self-Esteem Project is the global sponsor of Women in the World and the exclusive sponsor of the new girl-focused platform, ‘Generation Girl’. Together, their ambition is to help inspire and encourage young women and girls to recognise their potential, pursue excellence, and be undeniable, by showcasing real role models for real girls."
I've been blogging for 6 years and I know all too well how dependant we can all be on likes, comments, followers etc. It's difficult to not get wound up about all of it; it becomes quite dangerous when you begin to think likes and followers dictate your worth as a person. It took me quite a long time to learn to step away from developing a mindset like this. Yes, likes and followers matter to me in terms of my career and building 'my brand' as such, but I know they're merely irrelevant in the grand scheme of things and I don't let them affect how I feel about myself anymore.
I've struggled with body confidence for many, many years and I've a long way to go until I've reached the place wherein I feel 100% content with Me, Myself and I. I do think my generation was unfortunately the last generation to experience childhood and pre-teen life minus the obsession with the internet and it does genuinely worry me how dependant young people are on it today - and how destructive the obsession with chasing things such as 'likes' can be for a person's self-esteem.
“We have long known that girls with healthy body confidence have a greater chance of reaching their full potential. Today’s research enables us to better understand the relationship between social media and girls’ self-esteem, and the importance of talking to girls about body confidence before they turn 18. Everyone can help a girl feel good about herself which is why we are asking parents, teachers, youth leaders and family friends to share their support for the #NoLikesNeeded campaign.”
- Lucy Attley, Dove UK Brand Director
No amount of likes validates you as a person, believe me. Do you honestly think as an 80 year old you're going to care if your selfie got 1,000 likes? Nope. I think it's safe to say that all of us would rather look back on our lives and realise that true happiness and self-love comes from within and not from social media. It sounds pretty cheesy but it's the truth.
I love and appreciate the message Dove and Women in the World are spreading this week. Very few brands would involve themselves in such a campaign because let's face it, many multi-million dollar beauty companies want you to feel miserable, so you buy X and Y from them. I admire Dove greatly for breaking down such a barrier and using their platform for something beneficial and positive.
I'd love if you guys could share your own thoughts or encouragement for other young women (and men) by using the #NoLikesNeeded hashtag. I've discussed my own experiences with body image in the past and your comments, tweets and emails have helped me through many a struggling time. I feel like we need to help each other in realising that loving yourself as a person doesn't come from the internet or a number on your screen - full stop.