Skip to Content

The Dove Self Esteem Project helps me help her

It only takes one hour to change a child’s outlook on life. Learn how to make a difference in this post sponsored by Dove.


I spend a lot of time thinking about my daughter. She just turned 9, and I remember how tough life started to get around this age. I worried about everything! Was my hair right? Were my clothes cute enough? Did people think I was cool? Far too often, the answer was no. I was smart and creative, but definitely not cool or popular. As the only black girl in my class, and one of a handful in my school, I never quite felt like I fit in.

My self-esteem was shot as a young girl. I was a great writer and loved to read. If there was an activity involving any of those two things, I was golden. Otherwise, I mostly sat in the corner, trying to blend in because I couldn’t stand how much my differences made me stand out.

Over time, as I got older, and with support from some amazing women who served as mentors to me, I came out of my shell. The time they spent with me made such a difference, and they helped me to see myself in a new light. I needed that time that they spent with me, and they modeled the same type of support that I give my daughter as she gets older.

“It was my mother who made us believe we could be anything we wanted to be.” – Debbie

All it takes is an hour

We’re all so busy and it can be hard to find time for anything else. I’m always working, taking care of my family, and shuttling Ayva around from activity to activity. Even with a packed schedule, there’s still time to sow into Ayva. According to Dove, research shows that spending an hour with a girl can boost her self-esteem and change the way she feels about herself. I’m not talking about just in the moment, either, but for a lifetime.

I absolutely have one hour to give to my sweet girl to help her grow into a confident woman who loves herself and can see the value in who she is. Spending time doesn’t have to be complicated, either. Taking a walk, doing a craft, cooking a meal together are all simple ways that I’ve given time to Ayva. We talk. A lot. We get to know what’s important to each other. I also get to tell her how special she is.

Dove Real Beauty Productions recently produced a short film in partnership with Shonda Rhimes and director Debbie Allen to show just how much impact spending an hour with a girl can make.

About the Dove Self Esteem Project

Even though spending an hour with your child (or another girl) seems easy, I understand that some folks need more support and ideas about what exactly to do. The Dove Self Esteem Project is a wonderful resource that provides tools for parents, teachers, and mentors who are committed to building a girl up.

There are many discussion topics and activities to start the self-esteem conversation and help you help her. I recently went to an #HourWithHer workshop and received a kit that was the catalyst for a really great talk with Ayva about what she thinks about herself. I loved that she described herself as brave and was able to share examples with me about why she feels that way.

All it takes is one hour of intentional conversation and mentoring to change a girl’s life.

Whether it’s your own daughter, a friend, or something more formal through a volunteer program—find time to spend an #HourWithHer.

Follow the #HourWithHer hashtag or learn more about the Dove Self-Esteem Project on their website.