Girls learn about self-esteem

Published 10:33 pm Saturday, October 18, 2014

About 50 girls in the Suffolk unit of the Boys and Girls Club got a lesson in self-esteem from volunteers from Unilever Lipton on Friday.

Unilever, the company that owns Lipton, also owns Dove soap. The Dove Self-Esteem Project aims to show girls how images of women in media can affect their feelings about themselves.

“Anytime you can teach one child is helpful,” said Carol Harry of Lipton, who is also on the board of the Boys and Girls Club.

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The girls watched a video of a model being made up, having her hair done and having her photo taken. They then watched as the image was manipulated to arch her eyebrows, lengthen her neck and make other changes to her appearance.

The girls split into age groups and talked with Lipton employees, and a couple of other volunteers, about what they saw and how they believe it influences them.

“It’s good to be different. We don’t have to look like the girls in the magazines,” Harry told the older girls. “If everybody looked alike, it would be very, very boring.”

The girls listed things they like about themselves, naming their personalities, sense of humor, eyes, skin, hair, nails and dimples.

But they also admitted to feeling some peer pressure sometimes. One said she changed outfits three times on Friday morning.

“I didn’t want to look lame,” she said.

Another girl said peers say mean things to each other sometimes.

“If everybody listened to what everybody else said, everybody would be down,” she said. “You start believing in stuff like that.”

Harry said the employees hoped to be able to come back more often — perhaps to do a similar program with the boys next time.