The Dove Self Esteem Movement - What do you wish you'd known at 13?

As a grown woman I can honestly say that when I was a girl I had low self esteem.  I was never as pretty as I wished I was, which was hard because I had some really beautiful best friends.  I felt that my self worth came in the package of being pretty, popular and loved by a cute boy.  Time and time again I set myself up for heartache.  I wish that I had known at 13 some things that I know now.  I can't tell you how often I have thought how different I may have turned out as an adult if I had known a few things earlier in life.

What do you wish you had known at 13?  This is a tough question.  How do you narrow it down?  For me, my biggest struggle was that I was a boy crazy girl.  I always had a crush on someone and I was hellbent on trying to find a boy that would love me back.  I wish that I had known that a boy would love me once he got to know the real me, not the pretend me that I was trying to be, to make him like me.  I wish that I had known that if I spent more time focusing on loving myself that the right boy would come along and love me.  Really love me, for me.  I wouldn't have to struggle with choosing the real me over what I think he want's me to be.

I made a ton of mistakes as a teenager.  Some of my horrible decisions led to harsh consequences that I would live with the rest of my life.  There were times that I took for granted just how lucky I was.  My poor decisions led to me risking my innocence, my virginity and my safety - all of which would most likely never have happened if I had good - make that great - self esteem.  It doesn't help either that when you are young you think that "it" could never happen to you, no matter what the "it" may be.  We all feel invincible when we are teenagers.  We don't realize that some of the choices that we make can haunt us as adults.

When I was asked to participate in spreading the word about Dove's Self Esteem Movement I knew that I had to support it.  I have had a lot of time to reflect on my youth and the choices that I made.  Even now, when I meet girls in their late teens to early twenties I feel compelled to tell them that they love themselves first if I know that they are putting themselves in dangerous situations. I wish that I had someone to talk to when I was younger, someone to tell me to stop and think about my choices before I made them.

 As mother's we have important jobs in making sure that our children grow up feeling good about themselves.  I don't have a daughter, but I am one, and I remember at that age I was not open to what my mother had to say.  I didn't think that she could relate to me at all.  I was a fantastic liar too, so my mom never really knew what was going on with me.  I know she tried to but ultimately I didn't share personal things with her because I didn't want to disappoint her.  I came to find out only as an adult married with children that my mom had some really powerful personal stories about her time as a teenager that she didn't have the courage to share with me either at the time.  I wish that she had shared those personal struggles with me back then because I know that I really would have listened to her.  I would have realized that my mom did understand where I was coming from and that I could have gone to her about some of the things that I was going through and she would have understood.  I am glad that my mom found the courage later in life but I remember thinking at the time that she shared those personal stories, that it was helpful information that she withheld from me, that I would have benefited most from in my teens, not my late twenties. 

(taken from the press release)
Join the Dove Movement for Self Esteem

The Dove Movement for Self-Esteem invites all women to join us in creating a world where beauty is a source of confidence, not anxiety.

Imagine a world

…where every girl grows up with the self-esteem she needs to reach her full potential.
…where every woman enjoys feeling confident in her own beauty.
…where we all help to build self-esteem in the people we love most.

Dove is committed to building positive self-esteem and inspiring all women and girls to reach their full potential by caring for themselves and each other — but we need your help.

We’re building a movement in which women everywhere have the tools to take action and inspire each other and the girls in their lives. It could be as simple as sending a word of encouragement to a girl in your life or supporting self-esteem education in your town. From mentoring the next generation to celebrating real beauty in ourselves and others, we can open a world of possibilities for women and girls everywhere.

Will you join us?

Share Your Inspiring Message

Dove is inviting women of all ages to share their inspiring message with the next generation of young women by simply answering this question:

What do you wish you’d known at 13?

By sharing these messages with the next generation, women can inspire each other and the girls in their life to reach their full potential.

Dove is asking for women to answer this question and share their messages as a source of inspiration for women and girls everywhere.

Share your inspiring message:

Dove Self-Esteem Weekend

  • Everyone has the opportunity to make a difference in a young girl’s self-esteem
    • Dove is uniting women across the country – individuals, partners and grassroots organizations
    • Providing the next generation of women with the tools to build a positive relationship with beauty and reach their full potential
  • Join us for the Dove Self-Esteem Weekend on October 22nd-24th
    • One hour of your time makes a world of difference
    • There are a variety of ways to get involved:
      • National Partners: Participate in one of our national partner events: Girl Scouts of the USA, The Boys & Girls Club of America, Girls, Inc.
      • Local Girls Organizations: Host a self-esteem building event in your community. Register your event on our map at
      • Individuals: Download free self-esteem building activities and spend an hour with a girl in your life. Register your event on our map at
  • Show your support online

I encourage you to Join the Movement as I have and look for ways to make a difference in the self esteem of young girls. Make this weekend special and find a way to improve the self esteem of the young girls in your life. Share your wisdom and your strength with them. The impact your message has could make all the difference to them.

*I share my 100% honest thoughts and opinions in all posts. I received a Dove Self Esteem kit for my time in exchange for spreading the word about this campaign. Please refer to my disclosure policy or email me if you have any questions.*


michtuck said…
There are so many things I wish I had known when I was 13. My major wish though is that I had known how to eat healthier when I was younger. I am an obese woman now with health problems, but I've been overweight all my life. If I had taken some healthy steps then, I wouldn't be struggling so much now. As far as other decisions, I don't really have anything else I would change. I was boy crazy too, but not to the extent that it harmed me. This is an awesome program btw. Thanks!
Gianna said…
I wish I would have un-friended certain people at that age. Things would have been much better for me and I could have gotten some real friends.