This week I was asked to be involved in the #NoLikesNeeded campaign with Dove.
The Dove Self-Esteen Project (DESP) was started in 2004 as a way to help young girls reach their self-esteem and realise their full potential. DESP is the sponsor of Women in the World, a global summit that brings together extraordinary female leaders and change-makers to help increase body confidence and self-esteem in young people. At the Summit, Dove is kicking off the new #NoLikesNeeded campaign to show girls that, while today’s socially driven landscape can amplify beauty-related anxieties, the only ‘like’ that counts is their own. By using the #NoLikesNeeded hashtag, girls will be urged to reconsider our image-obsessed culture, their personal ‘branding’ and the changing perceptions of body image, identity and self.
My challenge was to take on the social media routines from the 13-23 age group for one full day to get a glimpse into the social media experience and pressures our daughters face. After extensive research, Dove has compiled the average social media day of young girls, showing that 50% are using a social network ‘all the time’ and are using 4 different social networks per day.
So how was my experience? My first thoughts is… exhausting! I found it draining to constantly be on social media and I missed interacting with my family so much. But it also made me think a lot and really opened my eyes. I am definitely going to talk to my daughter using the tips from DSEP about how to talk to my daughter about social media.
Part of my challenge was to utilise 4 different social media networks over the course of the day because research shows The average 13-23 year old girl in the UK uses an average of 4 social networks each day, including Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram, Twitter and Whatsapp. I chose to use the first 4. I honesty have no idea how young girls keep so active all day because I started to get bored and was constantly thinking of what to say.
Another part of the challenge was to Post 4 photographs (free choice) on Instagram over the course of the day because research shows The average UK girl is posting 35 photos a week on Facebook and 29 photos a week on Instagram. That is a huge amount! I didn’t find the 4 photo’s very easy, hence why I only did 3. I definitely could’t keep it up everyday. These are the photo’s I posted
I don’t believe that it just comes natural, you must constantly be thinking ‘what can I take a pic of now’ especially when those photo’s have to be just right every time. Like I said before, exhausting.
That also brings me on to my next challenge to post a photo of myself and post it regardless of how I feel I look in it. This is my photo
69% of girls with low body confidence avoid posting photos of themselves if they don’t like how they look. Honestly, I didn’t really care how I looked that much. It was the morning and I hadn’t washed or even had breakfast so I obviously looked a bit rough. Whoever thinks they look fantastic in the morning is kidding themselves. If I saw a photo of you first thing and looking great, I would think you’d staged it and I didn’t want people thinking that of me.
That in itself shows I obviously do care what people think and that was shown even more in my next task which really gave me an insight into the mind of a teenager and the pressures. I was asked to Post 1 photo featuring myself in it but I also had to spend 12 minutes preparing for the photo, which could include hair, make-up, lighting, setting the background and clothing.
Here’s my photo
I found this a chore. I felt so sad for the girls that do this with every photo they take and having the pressure of feeling they have to do that. Apparently on average, girls spend more than 12 minutes preparing for a photo before they take the one they want to post. I know this is true because I have seen my teenage daughter do this. Also as part of the challenge I also had to take 9 photos before posting the 1 that I was happy with because this is the average shot number a girl posts before the photo goes live.
I found I didn’t need to take the 9 photo’s of myself but I did need to take a few before I was happy which is very odd considering I wasn’t bothered about my earlier one. And now when I look back on these photo’s I think, what was that different about each one? And the answer is nothing which I think is the same for these girls, they really are just wasting their life away. I bet my first photo would have got exactly the same likes as the one I actually posted did.
I had to set myself a mental target of 24 ‘likes’. The average UK girl receives 24 ‘likes’ on a photo. In fact, they would prefer 5 times this number to feel validated. I have heard my teen daughter and teen son actually argue over who has he most ‘likes’ on a recent photo. Usually I don’t care how many likes I get because hearing my kids has annoyed me enough but because I gave myself a mental target, I wanted to beat that target and I imagine this is what girls have in their minds all the time. I suppose to make so much effort for a photo would make you want recognition. Like I said above though, I think they would get exactly the same without all the effort involved. I got 27 ‘likes’ and I am perfectly happy with that.
The #NoLikesNeeded campaign by Dove is a really easy way to spread positivity and helps to turn social media into a space that encourages beauty as a source of confidence, not anxiety.
This year, Women in the World London is taking place on Oct 8th and 9th in London, at Cadogan Hall. Parents, mentors and teachers can download Dove Self-Esteem Project educational tools, proven to boost self-esteem and increase body confidence in young people at http://selfesteem.dove.co.uk/
*This is a sponsored post but all words (apart from the facts) and opinions are my own.