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.

DOVE SELF-ESTEEM FUND - Girls Unstoppable campaign DOVE SELF-ESTEEM FUND - Girls Unstoppable campaign DOVE SELF-ESTEEM FUND - Girls Unstoppable campaign

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  • Camryn

    Oh Dove…ran by Unilever…which also makes $$$$ off of skin lightening products in India & Africa…maybe they should tell those people to love the skin they’re in too…

    • Amy

      And Unilever also owns Axe, with it’s awful sexist, objectifying advertising.

      No, I cannot support Dove. Are the ads clever? Sure. But in the end it’s just another $ going into Unilever’s pockets.

    • au napptural

      I was just about to say that! Unilever wants to play both sides. Do the status quo with Axe ads, and use women as props, set up a sexist hierarchy, and encourage rape culture (since the women in the ads have no control over their bodies, Axe makes them want a guy against their will). Then here comes the Dove ad to make it all better with their “all women are beautiful” schtick and get the rest of the money. No thanks.

    • Fit_MissC

      Great comments on Unilever trying to play both sides. I actually did a presentation on this back in college for my ethics class. It was based on an article that presented the same arguments using Unilever’s sale of skin lightening products in India. I don’t take this campaign too seriously but it does present some interesting facts that parents and people who work with youth can use as conversation starters. I actually stopped running track back in elementary school because I thought my thighs were too big. If someone saw these ads back then they might have been prompted to ask more questions as to my decision and who knows where I’d be today.

    • Girl you beat me to the punch. It’s the same Unilever that is telling women in The Middle East, Africa, and Asia that their skin is too dark. Fair & Lovely doesn’t even work but that isn’t the only skin lightening contraption they sell. Dove loves playing both sides of the fence. Two-faced suns of witches.

      http://youtu.be/pxapn-vgVNU

  • Sasha

    Companies can launch as many campaigns as they want but unltimately this sort of stuff starts at home. Mothers and fathers, tell your children every day that they are beautiful, smart and people of worth and value.