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From pop culture and politics to school hallways and social media, 7 out of 10 girls encounter negative beauty posts, comments, snaps and photos that can be destructive to their self-esteem

The Dove Self-Esteem Project teams up with Ariel Winter and body positivity advocates to lead the #SpeakBeautiful Squad and arm girls with resources to combat online negativity and shaming

ENGLEWOOD CLIFFS, NJ (October 18, 2016) – “She's FAT and UGLY.” “Literally disgusting.” “Pale looking alien.” These are just a few of the real negative tweets girls encounter on social media every day. Between the school year kicking off and recent news headlines, girls today are bombarded with damaging commentary online that impacts how they feel about themselves offline. Dove research shows that 70% of girls believe social media has a strong influence on the way they look.1 From Tweets and Facebook comments to Snaps and images on Instagram, girls hold in the palm of their hands constant access to an onslaught of messaging that can influence their self-image. To help girls cope with this relentless damaging commentary, the Dove Self-Esteem Project is launching the #SpeakBeautiful Squad, a group of digitally savvy, influential women who will provide girls with the tips, advice and resources they need to arm themselves against online negativity. The new social media self-esteem resources, like the TBH Digital Glossary and the Real Selfie Challenge, are available to all by visiting Twitter.com/Dove.

“We live in a world where girls are constantly confronted with unwarranted negativity online. Our research shows 62% of girls want to be taught how to use social media as a resource to empower them about positive body image,”2 states Nick Soukas, Vice President of Marketing for Dove. “With the #SpeakBeautiful Squad, we are providing girls, parents and mentors, with videos and GIFs containing the practical advice they need to help create a world where social media offers girls positivity and support rather than negativity and defeat. From Ariel Winter, who has shown remarkable courage standing up to online bullies, to Franchesca Ramsey, a YouTube activist known to use humor to tackle today’s toughest issues, Dove is proud to come together on these issues with extraordinary women who live, work, and play in the online world.”

Actress and Self-Esteem Advocate Ariel Winter is joining Dove to lead the #SpeakBeautiful Squad and encourage people everywhere to change the way we talk about beauty online. “I’ve experienced the challenges of growing up with social media – even before stepping into the spotlight. Platforms like Twitter have become a part of our daily routines. It’s so important that girls have the tools to combat the negativity found there and to encourage others to understand the emotional impact their words online can have on girls in real life.”

Meet the #SpeakBeautiful Squad

Joining Ariel on the #SpeakBeautiful Squad are Franchesca Ramsey, Jeannette Kaplun, and Vanessa Van Edwards. Dove collaborated with the Squad to create the resources that will help the next generation learn how to overcome online negativity and make social media a place where all girls feel confident and beautiful. Each member of the #SpeakBeautiful Squad is an expert on different online barriers to girls’ confidence.

  • Teasing & Bullying – Actress and Self-Esteem Advocate Ariel Winter leads the #SpeakBeautiful Squad and through her own experiences of cyberbullying, she encourages people everywhere to understand the emotional impact that our online comments and conversations can have on girls. Follow Ariel at @arielwinter1
  • Role of Media – Vlogger and Host of MTV’s Decoded Franchesca Ramsey is helping girls learn how to navigate the media that surrounds them while raising awareness of the role the media plays and its impact on their self-esteem. Follow Franchesca at @chescaleigh
  • Growing Up & Body Image – Jeannette Kaplun, Founder and CEO of Hispana Global is helping parents and mentors to identify and encourage positive behaviours online and discourage negative ones that can affect a girl’s self-image. Follow Jeannette at @JeannetteKaplun
  • Friends & Relationships – Published Author and Behavioural Investigator Vanessa Van Edwards will help girls learn how to notice unhealthy online relationships and empower them with advice on how to rise above them to create a safe community online. Follow Vanessa at @vvanedwards

Experience the #SpeakBeautiful new online self-esteem building activities

The legacy of the #SpeakBeautiful campaign, a partnership for social change between Dove and Twitter,3 has resulted in a 47% decrease in negativity on Twitter, but there is more work to be done. This next evolution of the program provides go-to resources as part of the #SpeakBeautiful curricula.

  • Re-Do Challenge - Everyone makes mistakes. It’s what you do afterwards that counts. Challenge a girl in your life to a re-do! Encourage her to post two positive Tweets with #SpeakBeautiful for every negative Tweet in the past.
  • TBH Digital Glossary – Walk through a list of terms often found online and their definitions with a girl in your life and explain how they affect self-esteem.
  • Signs of Cyberbullying – Learn to spot the signs of cyberbullying and ways you can help a girl in your life who has been bullied.
  • Bystander to Hero – Challenge girls to stand up against cyberbullying rather than being a bystander with guidance from this activity.
  • Digital Dates – Schedule a recurring “date” between mom and daughter so that mom can see her daughter’s life on social media while still respecting her privacy.
  • Real Selfie Challenge – If you love the way you look in that moment share it! Join our Real Selfie Challenge & show girls that photos don't have to be perfect to be beautiful.
  • Technology Contract – Sit down with your daughter and work together to create a written contract of how both can be respectful of privacy while abiding by specific rules.
  • Your Core Group - Help a girl in your life identify a core group of friends whose opinion she values. When confronted with cyberbullying, the daughter can turn to this list as a firm foundation of whose voices really matter.

The Dove Self-Esteem Project has reached over 19.4 million lives with self-esteem curriculum in order to help the next generation develop a positive relationship with beauty and we are committed to continuing that mission online. Together, we can all #SpeakBeautiful and unite to transform social media into a place where girls can feel free to be their confident selves. Starting October 18, 2016, follow @Dove and the #SpeakBeautiful Squad on Twitter to receive tips, advice and exercises on how to navigate the negativity on social media.

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1 “Dove: #SpeakBeautiful Girls Research” March 2016
2 “Dove: #SpeakBeautiful Girls Research” March 2016
3 Twitter Research, October 2016

About Unilever United States, Inc.

Unilever is one of the world’s leading suppliers of Food, Home Care, Personal Care and Refreshment products with sales in more than 190 countries and reaching 2 billion consumers a day. In the United States, the portfolio includes brand icons such as Axe, Ben & Jerry’s, Breyers, Caress, Clear Scalp & Hair Therapy, Country Crock, Degree, Dollar Shave Club, Dove, Fruttare, Good Humor, Hellmann’s, I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter!, Klondike, Knorr, Lever 2000, Lipton, Magnum, Nexxus, Noxzema, Pond’s, Popsicle, Promise, Q-tips, Simple, St. Ives, Suave, Talenti Gelato & Sorbetto, TIGI, TONI&GUY, TRESemmé and Vaseline. All of the preceding brand names are trademarks or registered trademarks of the Unilever Group of Companies.

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  • Helping more than a billion people take action to improve their health and well-being by 2020.
  • Halving the environmental impact of our products by 2030.
  • Enhancing the livelihoods of millions of people by 2020.

Unilever ranked number one in its sector on the 2016 Dow Jones Sustainability Index.

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Contact:

Sherria Cotton / Edelman
917.344.4761
Sherria.Cotton@Edelman.com

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