I was kindly sent a selection of lovely new Dove products to try and have been enjoying pampering myself. First up you can see three of Dove's body washes - go fresh, purely pampering and cream oil. They're all lovely products for using every day in the shower, and as usual with Dove they're extra moisturising. My favourite has been the Purely Pampering in Almond Cream and Hibiscus - something about it reminds me of my childhood and I still can't put my finger on what it is even after using it every day. Isn't it funny how certain smells can evoke long forgotten memories?
I also got to try out some of Dove's body lotions - silky nourishment with shimmer and intensive nourishment for extra dry skin. Both of these are fabulously moisturising as you'd expect. I was a bit dubious about using the shimmer product, imagining my skin like a disco ball, but it's a really subtle glowy sort of effect which will look lovely on tanned skin in Summer too I reckon.
Talking of tan I've also got some of Dove's summer glow body lotion. What with all the rain around lately I've just not been inspired to get my tan on, so I shall do a proper review of these once the clouds have gone away and I'm in the mood to get summer ready.
Finally, an essential product - I got two of Dove's natural touch deos. Don't ask me why, but I only like roll on deoderant and my boyfriend only does sprays (they say opposites attract right?) so we shared these. Now don't think I run around without showering or putting deoderant on from one day to the next, but I do love a deoderant that lasts 48 hours. I think it's all in the mind, but I just feel fresher and think I smell fresher knowing that the deoderant is good enough to last a whole extra day.
Now onto the meatier content of this post - I want to talk about Dove's self-esteem programme for young women. Have a watch of the advert below as it explains things better than I can.
It's all about Dove providing education to teenage girls to help boost their self-esteem, and wow has it struck a chord with the teenage me I remember so well. This type of education is just so valuable - I'm not saying it's a magic wand that's going to wipe out body confidence issues and stop young girls judging each other, but helpling girls to see things another way, and gain a little of the perspective it's taken me years to come by, can only be a wonderful thing.
A few weeks ago a work colleague was telling me that she bought her six year old a new coat for school. It was a 'puffer' type jacket, and when the little girl tried it on she had said "Mummy does this make me look fat?". I was horrified - what child of six should be worrying about being fat or even know what fat is? We discussed how TV and magazines were to blame, but later on, reflecting on this, I remembered a time in my own childhood, when I was a similar age in my primary school class where I'd been worrying about the very same things. I guess it's a natural instinct to be self critical and to compare ourselves to others, regardless of what we see on TV. Certainly when I was primary age, I was comparing myself to the other girls in my class, not to celebrities, and I had definite issues.
Growing up I was always a bit chubbier than most of the kids in my class, and I knew it. It made me incredibly self-conscious and like an outsider to the popular kids, who to my little eyes seemed physically perfect in every way. I had no appreciation for the things I know now - I just saw thin and fat, good and bad. It took me until my very late teens to understand that people come in all shapes and sizes, and that we're not purely defined by the weight on the scales or the label in our dress. I clearly remember the day I realised that someone who's a size 8 might not necessarily have a flat stomach and no cellulite, and that someone who's a size fourteen but a bit taller could be perfectly slim and healthy - I was nineteen. How could I not have figured these things out before then?
I wish there'd been something like the Dove Self-Esteem programme around for me when I was at school. I can't say how it would have changed things or effected my weight problems going forward, but it might have made me ease up on myself a little. I also might have come to the realisation sooner that I would never be 5 foot 10, size 6, and with legs up to my ears. Why? Because that's just not the way I'm made, and that's okay!
Of course I'm not advocating that it's okay to be really unhealthy or dramatically over or under weight, I just needed a better understanding of all the different shapes and sizes that healthy comes in. I'm still not sure I have that 100% straight in my head, but I'm trying. I've kicked fad diets to the curb in favour of healthy eating and a little exercise (what we all know that's what we need to do, I just don't always do it) and so far so good. That together with learning how to dress for my bodyshape (thank God for Trinny and Susannah), which again I didn't begin to work out until I was about twenty, I'm just about sorted.
It took me far longer than it should to muster up the level of confidence and self-esteem to live my life to the full, and to reach out and grab the opportunities I wanted for myself, because of body image issues holding me back, so I fully support this scheme to bring the kind of learning and understanding I didn't have to girls like little me. I'm so pleased to see Dove launching this scheme and focusing their energy on giving back something so valuable.
Sorry for the ramble, can you tell I felt kind of strongly about this one?! I'd love to hear what you think about Dove's self-esteem campaign too.
If you want to find out more, take a look at Dove's website here.
*PR samples included in this post