I was very lucky to be able to book a place on the roundtable about Self – Esteem. Even luckier that the table was filled with lively discussion, great questions and hosted by Leigh Kendall of Headspace Perspective who kept the conversation flowing with such ease it felt less like a meeting of strangers but more like a coffee and a chat.
I am on the picture, honest, you can see a bit of my blue hair.
Something that was striking to me was that we were sitting at a table of bright, beautiful and diverse women and yet every one of us had something that we felt knocked our confidence or something that we wanted to talk about. For me, and others at the table we know that how we feel, what we do, media on social media will have an impact on our children. Something that worried me but I also can understand completely was a statistic that Aby from You Baby Me Mummy mentioned.
The average UK girl takes 12 minutes for a single selfie.
That is horrifying until we think about how long each of our own Instagram pictures takes to curate. How long did it take to burn the sky? To up the details or smooth out your laughter lines. Another statistic we heard was that between the ages of 18-23 girls wanted three times more ‘likes’ on a single photo than say between the ages of 13-18. So the older we get, the more aware of media, social media and social perceptions of beauty, the less confidence we have in our own natural appearance.
That hurts to hear. We know that this is what happens but when it’s presented at a table, where most of us have children, and I have three girls growing up in this, I really feel that things like #NoLikesCampaign can make a difference, and I hope enough of one so that when my girls hit those ages the only like they consider important is their own.
While we were talking something that was really powerful was that if someone mentioned the thing that made them feel insecure, we all rushed to support them, empower them and encouraged them to keep talking and share with us. We talked trolling, weight, how blogging has affected our lives, how we explain to others about our blog and w. hat we have gained from it.
Something interesting was how we all just wanted to change the possible future for our children and the children others so that things like the #NoLikesNeeded campaign aren’t needed, so that our daughters can grow up and not worry about what other people think, that they grow up with a sense of self that is strong and secure enough to understand that if they feel good, that is all they need.
It was a great, powerful and swift talk that I was happy to have a seat at. I will be making sure I book ahead next year too. (We got a lovely goodie bag too!)
I always enjoy blogging events, this time around I had a lot of lovely people saying hello, so many it would take far too long to name you all. If you came and said hello I want to thank you, you made my day and the event even more special.
You might not know but I was nominated for an award this time around, I didn’t win, but I went into the day not assuming I would and could enjoy the day to the fullest without any worry or pressure. I had a little note from Margaret Atwood in the days following and honestly, that was enough for me.
I also had a lot of gin.
I always feel like I learn so much and most of it can’t be summed up into a single post. I have reams of notes, followed new people on twitter, spoke to some very interesting new bloggers, made some new blogger buddies, spent time with bloggers like Rachel from Parenthood Highs and Lows, who I adore, Emma Harris from Me The Man And The Kids, Mumsy Midwife and the very funny Philippa from Sounding Like My Mother.
If you are interested in the #NoLikesNeeded campaign and want to know more about how to boost the self-esteem of young people Dove have some tools that a proven to do just that, ideal for parents, teachers, and mentors! If you search the hashtag on twitter you’ll also see some fantastic photos from young people taking part in the exercises.
So that is it for Self Esteem Roundtable, Mumsnet & Me, Blogfest over for another year new friends made, old ones kept and much learned.