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The Dove Self-Esteem Project: Confront comparisons

Parent Zone has partnered with the Dove Self-Esteem Project to help you in your work with young people. Low self-esteem can affect everything, from school work to how you socialise with others. We are making available free expert resources accredited by the PSHE Association for teachers and parents to help young people build confidence and feel good about themselves

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‘76% of girls in the UK believe every female has something about her that is beautiful’

Over three quarter of girls in Britain believe all women have something about them that’s beautiful[1], but learning to believe it about yourself is an altogether more difficult challenge.

Recognising beauty in others can actually put pressure on young people, who will compare themselves unfavourably with people they know, or celebrities they see on social media or in magazines.

This week's featured resource from the Dove Self-Esteem Project will help your pupils learn how to make sure that the natural instinct to compare ourselves with others doesn’t become a negative experience.

Confident Me, session 3: Confront comparisons

This session looks at why so many young people compare themselves with others. It is designed to be used alongside the four other sessions, beginning with Confident Me, session 1: Appearance Ideals. Research shows that delivering all 5 workshops results in positive change for pupils.[2]

Young people learn to:

  • Understand that comparing looks to individuals and media images is automatic and part of human nature. 
  • Identify the ways in which the process of comparing looks often has negative consequences for themselves and their friends.
  • Develop new ways to respond to comparison situations that have positive outcomes for themselves and people around them.

Dove: Change One Thing video

This film, featuring boys and girls, reveals to students that the desire to change something about the way we look is normal and something that’s experienced by most people.

It encourages students to question why so many people want to change something about their physical appearance and demonstrates how futile this dissatisfaction is. So often, the physical feature you want to change is exactly the physical feature someone else wants to have!

Try the single session Confident Me workshop

Confident Me is also available as a single, 45-60-minute workshop, covering topics such as media influence, peer pressure and strategies for promoting positive body image and self-esteem. Students learn through class discussion, small-group activities, videos and activity worksheets.

Our expert resources for teachers and parents are based on comprehensive research, in collaboration with The Centre For Appearance Research (University of West England) and evaluated by body image experts. The school resources are accredited by the PSHE Association.

For parents

Download the free Uniquely Me parent guide to hand out to your pupils and parents.

This downloadable pdf contains expert advice from Dove Self-Esteem Project global experts from the fields of psychology, body image, self-esteem, eating disorders and media representation to create a resource for parents that is focused on advice and action.

Check out our Dove Self-Esteem Project resources for parents on our sister site, Parent Info.

[1]The Dove Global Beauty and Confidence Report, 2016.

[2]Diedrichs, PC; Atkinson, MJ; Steer, RJ; Garbett, KM; Rumsey, N & Halliwell, E (2015): Effectiveness of a brief school-based body image intervention ‘Dove Confident Me: Single  Session’ when delivered by teachers and researchers: Results from a cluster randomised controlled trial.


Image: public domain, CC0