Real Beauty with DOVE in NYC

I hope you are all having an amazing week so far, if you’ve been following along on my social media you will know that I was just in New York City with DOVE celebrating their global 60th anniversary! I couldn’t wait to get started on writing this piece and sharing my take on the events, I couldn’t wait to get behind the scenes and show you all the beautiful imagery that renowned photographer Mario Testino captured of all of these women of all ages, their real beauty without any photo touching or distortion! I am truly in love with this Dove campaign and so proud to be a part of telling you all about it. The full Dove Pledge is available online at as of March 2 and the ‘Dove Real Beauty Showcase’ including the photographs shot by Mario Testino are available online at

“The way Dove empowers women to celebrate their own unique beauty has long resonated with me. I have always taken the same approach with my pictures. A photographer has a choice – they can take a picture and make it about themselves by using avant-garde techniques, sometimes capturing the weakness in women, or they can choose to give their picture over to the woman in front of the lens by making her look herself and feel her most powerful.”

Mario Testino on the campaign

 For 60 years Dove has stood for real beauty, caring for women through their products and celebrating them for years & years. This incredibly inspiring 3 day global event has shown me just how much Dove is helping women across the globe of all ages discover the power of their real beauty and that we don’t need a beauty filter to feel beautiful!

In the beauty world the plastic surgery trends, using products to lighten, tighten, lift, plump…chemical peels and injections puts a huge amount of pressure on younger generations to fit a cookie cutter mould of looking young and to avoid any signs of aging, and that having flawless skin and bee stung lips is the definition of what it means to be beautiful.

On March 2nd Dove unveiled their Real Beauty Pledge, 3 vows that they promise to uphold for women everywhere:

  • We always feature real women, never models. These are real women, introduced by their names and reflect diversity.
  • We portray women as they are in real life. Zero digital distortion. We never present the unachievable, manipulated, flawless images of “perfect” beauty which the use of retouching tools can promote.
  • We help girls build body confidence and self esteem

Dove has a mission to ensure the next generation grows up enjoying a positive relationship with the way they look – helping young people raise their self-esteem and realize their full potential. A goal to educate 20 million more young people around the world on body confidence and self-esteem by 2020.

While in attendance at the global 60 year anniversary event last week, I was beyond inspired and moved by the real women and their stories about the battles they have overcome with issues like anorexia and body shaming, extremely low self esteem starting as early as 5 years old…this baffled me!!! I have a daughter who is almost 5 and the thought of her having self confidence issues in less than a year breaks my heart and it truly scares me as a parent.

I also learned about Dove’s Self-Esteem Project (DSEP), Dove’s mission to make sure that the next generation grows up loving themselves, and instilling a positive relationship with the way that they look to help them reach their full potential. Globally, Dove has reached 19 million young lives across 138 countries and is now setting a new goal to reach an additional 20 million by 2020.  It is a vital component of the 3rd pillar from the 3 listed above. I have to be honest here guys when I saw that I had no idea the Dove Self Esteem Project Mission existed, a lot of what I have learned over the past 3 days about DOVE was news to me, but great news! For more information on DSEP visit There is so much information that for myself as a parent I can absorb from there, to learn of ways I can prepare to truly teach my kids with the best tools to love themselves. This is already a big part of my parenting, we are very encouraging to them and teaching that how important it is to love themselves and all of the unique things we love about them as an individual. We want our children to go through life with confidence knowing that they are beautiful, worthy, smart, strong and of course capable. I want my kids to want to take part in sports no matter the shape of their bodies and to spend their energy enjoying fun activities and not shying away from them due to insecurities.

I have to admit that during a couple of the stories on Thursday, I started crying. I am already an emotional person but listening to these women of all ages talk about their struggles and also their triumphs…it gave me chills, it made me hurt for them but also feel their strength. These women all radiated such confidence and love for themselves, they were all so excited and passionate about sharing this with us and it was so admirable. We met 5 people with unique and touching REAL STORIES about their journey to find their real beauty and self love, each with compelling and different stories, lives and personalities…all different ages, and all REAL people.

Daphne was the first Real Women we met. At 88, Daphne is one of the oldest professional fashion models in the world and has been gracing the pages of fashion magazines since 1949. Although Daphne is a model she is not what society would generally think of as a model. As she is considerably older and showing signs of aging – a far cry form what we normally see with young, rail thin girls with perfect wrinkle-free skin. Full of spunk and great quotes, great stories of her life and family, Daphne recounted having worked as a mother in a time when it was rare for women to work after bearing children. She spoke of what beautiful meant to her, how she believed it was in the eye of the beholder. Not only was her fashion fabulous but she reminded me of my grandparents, she had strict mannerisms about her but also a rebel at heart. She had a very strict upbringing, and grew up in a world of no excess. People worked hard and earned, they didn’t over indulge and she made it very clear that she did not agree with invasive treatments on the face to combat aging. At 88, Daphne is one of the oldest professional fashion models in the world and has been gracing the pages of fashion magazines since 1949, yes Daphne is a model but she is not what society would generally connect with the word model. She is embracing aging in a beautiful way and She was truly a living & breathing billboard of aging gracefully in my opinion. Her real beauty was just that. Here are a couple of quotes I kept from our chats with her…

“ Beauty is very illusive and in the eye of the beholder.”

“ With a great posture, you can do anything!”

Second we heart from a beautiful woman named Karen, a 49 year old author, photographer and  lawyer. Moving back and forth from Trinidad and Texas throughout her childhood she was pulled in two different cultural directions, constantly feeling that her image did not fit the norm of the cities she was living in. But as she grew up and gained confidence in her beauty, Karen set out to help others achieve the same.  Karen is also a mother of a young girl and has tried to instill body positivity in her by complimenting and encouraging her daughter to ensure she is helping to build a solid foundation of self love and confidence in her. You can read more about Karen’s story by visiting the Dove website {here}. Not only does she radiate beauty and kindness, I was also in such awe of just how smart she is too!!!

Our third #RealBeauty story visit was with a mother and daughter team Elisa & Lily, the founders of The duo was incredibly inspirational and were such unique women themselves! Elisa had been working as a fashion editor at Conde Naste for years and found that the exact women she was styling for on the cover of magazines and editorials she was overseeing were of picture perfect models which were breaking down the very foundation of her daughter’s self acceptance. Lily was fighting a battle within with her body image. Elisa made it her purpose to change things, and they are now fueling a huge movement of celebrating what makes us unique in every shape and form. The people they interview have such compelling stories, I was crying during their video!

Lastly we met with Megan a beautiful and fun blogger who truly tugged at my heartstrings! Megan talked about her first experience with negative feelings about her body as early as the age of 5 when comparing herself to the other children in her classroom, wondering why their thighs were smaller than hers. As you all know, our Ella is almost 5. Hearing Megan talk about this had my stomach in knots, they very thought of our kids feeling insecure at that young of an age just made me feel even more passionate about doing whatever I could to make sure that didn’t happen. To make sure no one felt that way if I could do anything about it. Throughout the years Megan suffered serious struggles with eating disorders, was hospitalized and near death and it still didn’t change her perception of herself and didn’t end her urge to be super thin to be considered beautiful. No matter what her parents told her, she still didn’t believe she was beautiful until one day she stumbled upon an online community on Instagram that was made up of women building other women up, a movement of body positivity. Megan immediately bonded with this community and is now campaigning for all women to feel positive about their body through her blog and social media. Her advice to all of us was to clean out your Instagram, remove all of the accounts you follow that just make you feel crummy about yourself and inadequate…the ones that make you question your beauty and worth. Fill your feed with positivity and encouragement! Her friend and a fellow body positivity ambassador Andrea Torrez popped up on my Instagram Stories and encouraged us all to feel self worth. Both Megan and Andrea such sweet and empowered women and so fun to chat with too!

All in all this experience in New York with Dove was inspiring, enlightening and encouraging, this post was made in collaboration with Dove, all opinions are my own. All images shot with my Iphone.

Up next I will be sharing all about Dove’s new Baby line that they recently launched this month!!