Teen spurred to tackle low self-esteem
Petra Jellyman wants young people to feel good about themselves. The 14-year-old Kaiko¯ura youth councillor said she gets tired of people running themselves down.
‘‘I don’t like hearing my friends calling themselves fat - it really grates on me when they look down on themselves.’’
Two years ago, as a Girl Guide, she took part in the Free Being Me programme which was part of the Dove Global Self-Esteem Project. The project aims to boost selfesteem and body image confidence in young people.
‘‘I found the programme really good and it sparked a lot of interest in me about gender equality and body image,’’ she said.
‘‘It’s all about helping young women feel confident about who they are.
‘‘People are just people and I don’t understand why anyone is judged based on their sex, whether they are male or female, or the equality between people overall.’’
Working alongside Girl Guiding NZ and Life Education Trust, Dove want to make young people more aware of their body image.
They are hoping to reach 18,000 young Kiwis this year and positively influence their self-esteem.
Studies have shown eight out of 10 girls will opt out of attending school, playing sports or engaging wth friends due to low self-esteem and concerns about their image.
Jellyman said the programme made her more aware of how many people had low self-esteem and gave her the skills to positively reinforce their view of themselves.
‘‘The programme gave me the skills to say it in a better way and the confidence to say it.
‘‘Part of it is to be able to help other people and also to understand and know who you are and have confidence in yourself - which most people struggle with.’’
Jellyman is in year 10 at Kaiko¯ura High School and said she wants to help more people in the future.
She is aiming to study psychology and wants to become a youth counsellor.
She said the ‘‘perfect woman image’’ shown in the media through photo shopping was dis- torted and that everyone has different ideas of beauty around the world.
The once self-conscious girl said she had learnt not to try to fit into society’s perfect image because, ‘‘I am me, and comfortable about who I am and that’s enough’’.
The Dove Global Self-Esteem Project installed confidence and sparked an interest in gender equality and body image in Kaiko¯ura youth councillor and girl guide Petra Jellyman.