Dove believes beauty should be a source of confidence, not anxiety. Girls are listening – women just need to start the conversation. A simple act, such as starting a conversation about beauty, can make a world of difference. Dove is committed to inspiring all women and girls to reach their full potential. The Dove Movement for Self-Esteem opens up a world of opportunities for women to make a difference. Dove is specifically reaching out to Latin@s and Spanish speakers through their Vive Mejor Hablemos /”Let’s Talk” campaign, encouraging better living through open and honest conversations about what does real beauty, self-esteem, and self-confidence mean.
As the mother to two Latinas, these conversations had to happen early on. Now, I know many Latin@s don’t like to talk about it, but colorism is a huge issue in our communities. When my now 15 year old was born, neighbors told me that yes, she was a pretty baby, but not to worry too much because she would “lighten up” as she got older. She never did and why should she. Born of a Nuyorican mom and a Mapuche- Indigenous Chilean dad, her skin color, your dark eyes, are all a reflection of where she comes from, her history. Even my dearly departed grandmother would look at her and call her a “pretty trigueña”, as if an unmodified trigueña meant anything but pretty. Now 15, my MapucheRican, as I lovingly call her, struggles like all teens do with fitting in, but she’s also pretty comfortable in her skin. She’d figuring out what her identity means in relationship to how people perceive her looks. For example, she gets spoken to in Spanish way more than I do. But the important thing is that we talk, alot. We have very candid conversations about standards of beauty, Latinidad, sexuality, gender roles, school and so much more. The key has been always being open with my daughter, even when she was really young and not being shy or scared or worried about her not quite getting everything I was saying. It hasn’t always been easy and I’m sure it won’t be easy in the future with so many messages telling her what she should be and look like as a young woman, as a Latina. But I think if I can be honest with her about my own ongoing struggles with these issues, because let’s be honest, even as adults, we are faced with self-esteem challenges, then we are on the right track.
With a five year old, I feel like I’m starting over with these conversations but not necessarily from the same point. Each child, even from the same parents, is different. My 5 year old is more outgoing and way more aware of what are societal ideals of beauty. She loves her dolls and princesses, is always up in my makeup and into my sister’s shoes. I feel like I need to encourage her to explore what beauty means but always challenging her a little to think about the why and the how and what she can do.
How do you have conversations with the kids in your life about beauty? Feel free to share your comments below.
Tomorrow, Thursday October 4th, from 7-8 pm EST there will be a FB chat with program expert, People en Espanol columnist and parenting expert Jeannette Torres-Alvarez on this very topic. You can join in here.
This post is compensated and in collaboration with Dove and Latina Bloggers Connect