Dove Soap Takes on Self-Esteem Issues in Young Girls - 8 News NOW

Paula Francis, Anchor

Dove Soap Takes on Self-Esteem Issues in Young Girls

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A company known best for its soap is taking on self-esteem issues in young girls. Dove has launched a campaign (seen on the right here, below the ad) to give girls a reality check, showing them how the entertainment and beauty media create images of un-reachable perfection.

Eye on Health spoke with a local child psychiatrist about the damage such images can bring on.

The Dove video found on YouTube offers a fast-moving glimpse into the onslaught of beauty-related ads. And it carries an underlying message of an unrealistic standard of beauty, which may have an impact on a young girl's self esteem.

After all, an average girl will see thousands of similar images by the time she's in kindergarten.

Las Vegas child and adolescent psychiatrist, Karen Cruey believes that media images do influence young girls. In some cases, that influence leads to eating disorders, as one feels they have to be thin to be accepted.

"And they associate thinness in some way with popularity and having more fun -- almost a Barbie image," said Dr. Cruey.

Some students at Faiss Middle School in Las Vegas were asked if they felt influenced in any way by the bombardment of beauty ads. Some said "no way" while others said "most definitely."

Taylor Osterhuber, Age 11: "I know what I want to be, kind of. And it's not model-type stuff."

Taylor Simpson, Age 13: "They all have makeup, and they all have their own way of doing that. I kind of want to follow that cause I think it looks cool."

Azaleiha Acosta, Age 11: "I want to be what I want to be, not them."

Mackenna Ririe, Age 11: "Kind of. If they're successful in life, I kind of want to be that way. But I'm pretty much my own self."

Dr. Cruey points to a study that found girls who frequently viewed glamour magazines were more likely to be influenced by the images. At the same time, she's encouraged that more companies are taking a healthy approach.

"A cosmetics company was advertising their Christmas line. And they included in the advertising eight glasses of water a day will be helpful to your skin to keep your skin glowing," said Dr. Cruey. 

Parents are encouraged to discuss self-image with their children. Open communication may lessen their anxiety about the way they look.

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