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Dove Pride Open Letter

Empowering LGBTQ+ youth: Our open letter

Every young person deserves to feel confident and proud of who they are – without shrinking or hiding their authenticity. But around the world, many young LGBTQ+ people face pressure to conform to narrow beauty standards, binary ideals, and stereotypes of how they should look or be. And because of this, research shows that LGBTQ+ youth are at significantly greater risk of developing body image issues. 

This needs to change. Together, we can help the next generation feel empowered, with the confidence to define their beauty on their own terms. If you have a young LGBTQ+ person in your life, and you’ve got questions about how you can confidently advocate for them, read our open letter below.

Dear parents, guardians, chosen families, and allies of LGBTQ+ youth, 

The work you’re doing to protect LGBTQ+ children – in a world that makes it difficult for them to exist authentically – is not easy. We believe your immense efforts are the bedrock of confidence and self-esteem in the next generation. And we’re here to support you on this journey.  

We want to help create a world where every child can grow up feeling safe and confident to express themselves – without fear or shame.

18 years ago, the Dove Self-Esteem Project was set up to help parents, mentors, teachers and youth leaders provide self-esteem education around the world. So far, we’ve reached over 83 million young people – but we must do more to protect LGBTQ+ children in particular. 

We’ve made it our mission to boost confidence in 250 million young people by 2030 – and we believe passionately in protecting those most vulnerable to appearance-based discrimination. 

This must include LGBTQ+ youth, who face enormous pressures to conform to damaging appearance stereotypes – which can significantly impact their self-esteem. We are all deeply saddened by the relentless discriminination they are subjected to every day, simply for expressing themselves how they choose to. These heartbreaking stories must end now.  

Sometimes, when you’re celebrating and advocating for the young LGBTQ+ people in your life,  you might have questions, or feel like you need support to navigate difficult conversations.

We want to do more to help, which is why we’ve been facilitating conversations that boost body confidence in LGBTQ+ youth. The Dove Self-Esteem Project worked with leading experts to co-create Proud To Be Me, a tool that’s been enabling some of the most challenging conversations, at home. We want you to know you’re not alone in this. 

Together, we can support and empower the LGBTQ+ generation of tomorrow with the confidence to express themselves fully, authentically – and without fear – today.

Start a conversation and support the  young LGBTQ+ person in your life. 

Unilever USA continues their support with United We Stand, a year-round commitment to improve conditions for LGBTQ+ communities across the country.

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