Doing Life Together

Doing Life Together

Commercials That Empower Girls: Much Ado About Nothing

BFS_SelfImage_LGHave you noticed the trend?  Companies trying to sell us hair and feminine products, soap and make-up are targeting girls with messages of empowerment. Stop being weak, telling people you are sorry and wallowing in low self-esteem! #GirlsCan!

First it was Dove’s Real Beauty campaign, then the Pantene video told women to stop saying we are sorry, and now the Always video is declaring the phrase, “like a girl” not to be negative, but positive. Oh, and Cover Girl joins the fray with its #GirlsCan celebrity campaign!

So do girls and women really need this boost in self-esteem? Are we fragile, conflicted, insecure and in need of an esteem boost?  Are we  confused about our roles, wondering if we can be assertive, and unsure of how to run like a girl?

Hardly, it is the 21st century!

According to one study that looked at over 100,000 adolescent girls, self-esteem isn’t in the dumps like these empowering campaigns want us to believe. Yes, girls obsess more about their appearances during adolescence and thus are more prone to eating disorders, but boys and girls come up equal when it comes to self-esteem, especially related to academics. And boys actually fall short of girls on moral-ethical issues and feelings about their own behavior. Hmmm….maybe we should be targeting boys to stay strong.

In addition, Susan Harter at the University of Denver found that girls and boys were not different when it came to expressing their opinions, sharing feelings, letting others know what is important to them and saying what is on their minds. When both genders had parent, teacher and friend support, they developed strong voices.

Researchers Gentile, Twenge and Campbell concluded that the overall pattern of self-esteem among teens and young adults has increased over the past decade, not decreased.  And while there is a dip in self-esteem at puberty, that dip is not as low as past years. It’s actually quite normal to see a dip in self-esteem when your body is changing at record speed. At the end of the study, the researcher noted that all the cultural emphasis on self -worth has been successful and declared “Mission Accomplished.”So it seems feminists need a new cause and this need to empower girls is much ado about nothing.

Studies also support the idea that the younger generations is more tolerant and supportive of equality. Now, this doesn’t mean they are more empathetic. In fact, we are seeing a growing trend towards narcissism. Maybe that is where campaigns to help girls should focus! Be more empathetic towards others, obsess less about yourself and find your identity in Christ, not through products or material things. Of course then there would  be no product to sell!

 

If you are someone who struggles with self-esteem (Yes, there are those who do!), check out my book pictured above,  Breaking Free from Negative Self-Image

 

 

Sources:

Foster, J. D., Campbell, W. K., & Twenge, J. M. (2003). Individual differences in narcissism: Inflated self-views across the lifespan and around the world. Journal of Research in Personality, 37, 469-486.

Stewart, K. D., & Bernhardt, P. C. (2010). Comparing Millennials to pre-1987 students and with one another. North American Journal of Psychology, 12, 579-602.

Gentile, B., Twenge, J. M., & Campbell, W. K. (2010). Birth cohort differences in self-esteem, 1988-2008: A cross-temporal meta-analysis.Review of General Psychology, 14, 261-268.

Previous Posts

10 Ways to Resist Sex Outside of Marriage
Sean Lowe, made famous by the reality television shows The Bachelorette and The Bachelor, was known as the Virgin Bachelor. But Lowe makes no apologies for his desire to wait until marriage to have sex with the woman he wanted to marry. Recently, he spoke at Liberty University's convocation 

posted 6:00:59am Mar. 03, 2015 | read full post »

A Therapeutic Way to Deal With Heartache or Tragedy
He sat in my office and told me his father died suddenly of a heart attack. There was no warning and he and his mom were heartbroken.  She was crying as she talked about her 20 year marriage coming to an end. Her husband words, "I don't love you and want out," hit hard.  He never saw it comi

posted 6:00:05am Feb. 27, 2015 | read full post »

Take the Quiz: Do You Love Money Too Much?
Money, money, money...The OJays sang about it, reminding us us what people will do for the love of money-steal from their mother, rob from their brother, lie, cheat and don't care who they hurt or beat, etc. In Matthew, Jesus tells us that you can't love money and God. He chided the religious le

posted 6:00:17am Feb. 25, 2015 | read full post »

A School Success Measure More Important Than Intelligence
These days, parents seemed consumed with their children getting high test scores. The belief is that high test scores predicts academic success. But a new study suggests that parents should put their efforts elsewhere--in developing the personalities of their children. With more concern about wh

posted 6:00:29am Feb. 23, 2015 | read full post »

One Way to Facilitate the Feeling of Love
Rosie is a little anxious about her first date with Sean. We all know how important first impressions are when it comes to finding love. After a few outings at a local coffee shop, her feelings of attraction were obvious. The setting was intimate, soft  music played in the background and th

posted 6:00:15am Feb. 20, 2015 | read full post »


Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.