Let's Talk: KeKe Palmer Kicks Off National Movement On Behalf Of Girls With March To Times Square

ENGLEWOOD CLIFFS, N.J., Oct. 5, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- "Let's Talk" are two simple words at the heart of the Dove brand's largest effort to date to support girls' self-esteem. The third annual Dove Self-Esteem Weekend, a nationwide effort to help girls develop a positive relationship with beauty, is taking place from October 5th- 7th. Everyone has the opportunity to make a difference in a girl's self-esteem. Dove is bringing together retailers, non-profit organizations, the medical community and women everywhere with a bi-lingual program in English and Spanish to spark conversation on a vital topic. Teenage actress and singer KeKe Palmer, a voice of inspiration for girls, will kick off the weekend with a march to Times Square in New York to call for a national discussion on girls' self-esteem. Dove is committed to inspiring all women and girls to reach their full potential, and the weekend is one of the many ways in which the brand brings to life its vision to create a world where beauty is a source of confidence, not anxiety.

KeKe Palmer will join 250 members of Girls Scouts of the U.S.A., Girls Inc., Boys & Girls Clubs of America and The Young Women's Leadership Schools (TYWLS) as they march alongside their moms and mentors. The girls will carry signs saying "Let's Talk," in an effort to ask women everywhere to start a conversation on beauty anxiety that girls experience and how it impacts their self-esteem.

"Like most girls there have been times when I have felt insecure about my looks," says KeKe Palmer. "I am lucky enough to have a mom that I can turn to in these moments. She helps me feel more confident, and I know girls everywhere need and value that kind of encouragement. The Dove Self-Esteem Weekend is all about starting a conversation and helping girls develop a more positive relationship with beauty."

Prior to the march, the girls at the New York event will participate in a self-esteem workshop led by Dove Global Self-Esteem Ambassador Jess Weiner. The session will offer girls insights and candid conversation with a diverse group of women who will talk about the different ways beauty anxiety can manifest itself in girls' lives. The discussion will shed light on different perspectives about beauty and self-esteem, and will give girls an opportunity to ask questions and talk to each other. Weiner will lead a panel discussion with KeKe Palmer, Toni Blackman, Dove Real Woman role model, Mona Gohara, M.D., from the Women's Dermatologic Society, and Alexis Tirado, managing editor of MTV Act, the network's pro-social blog.

Anxiety about looks begins at an early age and holds girls back1 from reaching their full potential. When girls feel bad about their looks, sixty percent of girls globally disconnect from life and avoid normal daily activities such as raising their hand in school or even going to the doctor.2 Alarming statistics like these show why events such as the Dove Self-Esteem weekend are critical to helping girls reach their full potential.

Amazing Things can Happen When We Come Together – in English AND in Spanish

Dove Self-Esteem Weekend events will take place in cities across the nation, including New York, Miami, and Los Angeles. Boys & Girls Club of Venice, Calif., will host an event for 1,000 people on Saturday, October 6th. Teen singer Jessica Jarrell, who joined the brand earlier this year as an ambassador for the "Women Who Should be Famous" program, will perform. In Miami, parenting expert, People en Espanol columnist Jeannette Torres-Alvarez will host a parenting workshop about helping girls develop a positive relationship with beauty. Look online at www.Dove.com/self-esteem for further details about an event near you.

The Dove Movement for Self-Esteem aims to reach 15 million girls globally with self-esteem programming by 2015. Together with experts and key partners, the brand has reached more than 9 million girls. The commitment to this goal is underscored with a Spanish-language web platform that will house self-esteem resources and reach countless more girls. Women who wish to access these materials in Spanish can visit www.vivemejor.com.

Retailers Join the Conversation

Retailers across the country are doing their part to get the nation talking about this important issue. More than 1,000 Walmart stores nationwide will have a designated area called the "Let's Talk" wall where visitors can share a message of encouragement with girls throughout the weekend. Consumers can pick up a copy of Beautiful and Bold Presented by Dove, an 80 page magazine and CD, which are available for a limited time only at Walmart. The Kroger Co. hosted a private event for 250 girls from the Boys & Girls Clubs at its headquarters in Cincinnati.

Women who want to join the Dove Movement for Self-Esteem and participate in the Dove Self-Esteem Weekend can do so in several ways. Visit www.Dove.com/self-esteem for more information on events at local retailers and the Dove Facebook page, Facebook.com/Dove, to access free tools and resources to motivate and inspire young girls. These tools and resources include:

  • Download a "Let's Talk" toolkit for tips on how to talk to a girl about self-esteem and overcome conversation obstacles, experience real-life scenarios of and learn how to replicate a "Let's Talk" rally in your own neighborhood
  • Inspire women everywhere by sharing your stories and photos of how you talked to a girl in your life about self-esteem

"Amazing things can happen when we come together," said Rob Candelino, vice president, Unilever Skincare. "Dove has not wavered in its commitment to the next generation. The Self-Esteem Weekend shows that we can bring everyone together – businesses, families, communities – into this exciting and necessary movement. We have a way for everyone who wants to join us in our efforts."

The Dove Self-Esteem Weekend is one of many ways that women can join the brand in its efforts to build confidence in girls. Women can continue to join the conversation and share their stories and messages of inspiration with the brand – and each other – throughout the year via social media channels (Facebook and Twitter). Women who wish to learn more about the Dove® Movement for Self-Esteem, or wish to access tools and resources to inspire a girl in their life can visit www.dove.com/self-esteem for more information.

About Girl Scouts of the USA

Founded in 1912, Girl Scouts of the USA is the preeminent leadership development organization for girls, with 3.2 million girl and adult members worldwide. According to the Girl Scout Research Institute, approximately one in every two adult women (49%) in the U.S. has at some point been a member of Girl Scouts. Girl Scouts is the leading authority on girls' healthy development, and builds girls of courage, confidence, and character, who make the world a better place. The organization serves girls from every corner of the United States and its territories. Girl Scouts of the USA also serves American girls and their classmates attending American or international schools overseas in 90 countries. For more information on how to join, volunteer or reconnect with, or donate to Girl Scouts, call 800-GSUSA-4-U or visit www.girlscouts.org.

About Boys & Girls Club of America

For more than 100 years, Boys & Girls Clubs of America (GreatFutures.org) has enabled young people most in need to achieve great futures as productive, caring, responsible citizens. Today, some 4,000 Boys & Girls Clubs serve nearly 4 million children and teens through Club membership and community outreach. Clubs are located in cities, towns, public housing and on Native American lands throughout the country, and serve military families in BGCA-affiliated Youth Centers on U.S. military installations worldwide. Clubs provide a safe place, caring adult mentors, fun and friendship, and high-impact youth development programs on a daily basis during critical non-school hours. Priority programs emphasize academic success, good character and citizenship, and healthy lifestyles. In a Harris Survey of alumni, 57 percent said the Club saved their lives. National headquarters are located in Atlanta. Learn more at bgca.org/facebook and bgca.org/twitter.

About Girls Inc.

Girls Inc. inspires all girls to be strong, smart, and bold through life-changing programs and experiences that help girls navigate gender, economic, and social barriers. Research-based curricula, delivered by trained, mentoring professionals in a positive all-girl environment equip girls to achieve academically; lead healthy and physically active lives; manage money; navigate media messages; and discover an interest in science, technology, engineering, and math. The network of local Girls Inc. nonprofit organizations serves 125,000 girls ages 6 - 18 annually across the United States and Canada. Learn more about our programs and advocacy at www.girlsinc.org.

About The Young Women's Leadership Schools

Young Women's Leadership Network supports two life-changing programs that empower low-income youth to break the cycle of poverty through education: The Young Women's Leadership Schools, a high performing network of all-girls public secondary schools, and CollegeBound Initiative, a comprehensive college guidance program for young women and men. Graduates of TYWLS of East Harlem earn four-year college degrees at triple the rate of their peers and graduates of CBI schools earn four-year college degrees at double the rate of their peers. YWLN will serve more than 10,000 students at 19 public high schools this year. For more information, please visit www.ywln.org.

About Dove®

Dove®, manufactured by Unilever, is the No. 1 personal wash brand nationwide. One in every three households uses a Dove®product, which includes beauty bars, body washes, face care, anti-perspirant/deodorants, body mists, hair care and styling aids. Dove® Men+Care™ is the newest range of products from Dove®, developed specially for men. Dove® is available nationwide in food, drug and mass outlet stores.

About Unilever North America

Unilever is one of the world's leading suppliers of fast moving consumer goods with strong operations in more than 100 countries and sales in 180. With products that are used over two billion times a day around the world, we work to create a better future every day and help people feel good, look good and get more out of life with brands and services that are good for them and good for others. In the United States and Canada the portfolio includes brand icons such as: Axe, Becel, Ben & Jerry's, Bertolli, Breyers, Caress, Consort For Men, Country Crock, Degree, Dove® personal care products, fds, Good Humor, Hellmann's, I Can't Believe It's Not Butter!, Just for Me!, Klondike, Knorr, Lever 2000, Lipton, Motions, Nexxus, Noxzema, Pond's, Popsicle, Promise, Q-Tips, Ragu, Simple, Skippy, Slim-Fast, Soft & Beautiful, St. Ives, Suave, tcb, TIGI, TRESemme, Vaseline, and Wish-Bone. All of the preceding brand names are registered trademarks of the Unilever Group of Companies. Dedicated to serving consumers and the communities where we live, work and play, Unilever employs more than 13,000 people across North America – generating over $9 billion in sales in 2011. For more information, visit www.unileverusa.com or www.unilever.ca.

1 Dove® Global Research: The Real Truth About Beauty

2 Dove® Global Research: Rebuilding the Foundation of Beauty Beliefs

Sharelyn Devonish/Edelman

Stacie Bright/Unilever