Raising a daughter in today's world can be a terrifying endeavor. Even the best intentions and strongest family ties cannot shield our girls from pervasive cultural messages insisting that they somehow "aren't enough" -- aren't smart enough, funny enough, beautiful enough.

Beauty in particular can be a tricky concept to discuss with our daughters, especially considering that many of us -- even as grown women -- still struggle to feel comfortable in our own skin. Fortunately, we aren't alone in feeling this way, and there are many resources available to help us talk about what it means to be truly beautiful. 

The Dove Movement for Self-Esteem

Anxiety about beauty begins at an early age, but we can change this for our daughters simply by talking with them. The Dove Movement for Self-Esteem -- which is designed to boost the confidence of 15 million girls by 2015 -- can help. 

"Dove research shows that it is still important for us to address girls' anxiety about looks, as there is a universal increase in beauty pressure and a decrease in girls confidence as they grow older ... Only 4% of women around the world consider themselves beautiful." 

Want to talk about confidence and positive self-image with the girls in your life, but aren't sure where to start? Here's how Dove can help:

  • Visit Dove's Self-Esteem Wall, where you will find expert tips for discussing beauty and confidence, get inspired by real-life stories, and can share your own photos and experiences. 
  • Download the "Let's Talk" Toolkit, which was created with Global Self-Esteem Ambassador Jess Weiner, and includes lots of easy ways you can Ask, Share, Listen, and Act. 

Talking To My Daughter

As the mother of an 8 year-old girl who already complains that her eyes are brown rather than blue, her hair curly rather than straight, I appreciate Dove's proactive approach to healthy discussions about body image. We've already started working through Dove's 1 on 1 Activities for Girls, 8-12, and the tips have provided me with lots of great ideas for future conversations. 

Frequent, casual talks may not be a magic bullet, but they will keep the lines of communication open. My daughter is sure to receive more and more mixed messages that threaten to undermine her self-confidence as she gets older, and -- as her mother -- it is both my privilege and my responsibility to keep these important and empowering conversations going.

And I owe a tremendous thank you to Dove for getting them started.

Disclosure:  This post has been sponsored by Dove, and much of the information has been provided by the company's "Let's Talk" campaign. But it's a cause that I can 100% get behind, and all opinions are my own.