After the abuse that weightlifter Zoe Smith and swimmer Rebecca Adlington received on twitter it's no WONDER 60% of females are shunning sport because they suffer from chronic low self-esteem
15:56 GMT, 26 July 2012
After it emerged that Olympic weightlifter Zoe Smith was branded a 'lesbian' and a 'bloke' on twitter this week with similar abuse causing Team GB swimmer Rebecca Adlington to quit the site, the future of female self-esteem is in crisis.
According to new research commissioned by
Dove, the harsh reality of abuse targeted at female athletes could have devastating effects, hitting Britain's sporting success badly.
The study found that the lack of self-esteem among 11-17
year old girls prevents them from realising their full potential, with
huge consequences for their personal and professional future.
Zoe Smith of Great Britain Weightlifting was branded a 'lesbian' and a 'bloke' on twitter this week
Zoe lifted in the women's 58 kg weightlifting clean and jerk event during the Commonwealth Games
As Dove launches the 2012 campaign for Dove Self-Esteem Programme (DSEP), the extent of the issue has become clear.
Self and body-esteem issues could mean an estimated two to
three potential female medalists drop out of sport and as a result,
never step onto the winner’s podium in future games.
The study reveals the shocking
impact of low self-esteem, with the business world looking set to
If the status quo remains, the UK could be deprived of 200,000
female business professionals and 42,000 successful female
entrepreneurs by 2050.
Rebecca Adlington received so much abuse on twitter that she was forced to quit the site
Low self-esteem affects how young
girls feel about their future careers with only one in three feeling
confident they will have a successful career in the future.
This has a
huge impact on the medical and legal professions with the potential
number of female doctors and lawyers reducing by 17%.
That’s a shortfall
of 20,000 female lawyers and around 35,000 doctors by 2050.
The shocking discontentment felt
amongst young girls about their appearance is at the heart of the
Nearly half (45%) describe themselves as ‘average’ and
‘ordinary’ with a further 10% feeling ‘plain’, ‘unattractive’ and
Social media also plays a huge part in hindering face-to-face self-confidence, with 60% of girls feeling more comfortable interacting online.
As a brand that is dedicated to
building positive self-esteem, Dove has developed the 2012 Campaign for
Dove Self-Esteem Programme (DSEP) to make a real change to the way young
girls perceive and embrace beauty.
Ali Fisher, Dove Marketing Manager
said: 'We are passionate about our social mission and want to continue to
help young girls and women develop a positive relationship with their
'We’ve already reached over 800,000 young people in the UK as
part of our Dove Self-Esteem Programme and our aim is to reach 1 million
by the end of 2012. We really hope to create a step change for
self-esteem with our 2012 campaign.'
With just over half (53%) of all
girls believing that they would be happier if they were more beautiful,
the reward for closing the self-esteem gap has never been so great,
whilst the danger of failing to do so, equally profound.
Lowered self-esteem among today’s girls and young women could, by 2050, be costing the nation:
• 16% of our British female Olympic medalists
• 14% of our female managers in UK businesses
• 21% of our female MPs
• 17% of female doctors & lawyers
• The chance of a female Prime Minister in the UK before 2050 by 18%
Most positive role-models
Their own mother (37%)
Cheryl Cole (8%)
Angeline Jolies (4%)
Kate Middleton (3%)