New Campaign Aims to Build Women’s Confidence, Self-Esteem

Katherine Frey/The Washington Post(NEW YORK) -- Jennifer Tress’ marriage and life was forever changed when her ex-husband muttered the four ugly words, “You’re not pretty enough,” as his reason for cheating on her.

Now she is on a crusade to help women build their self-esteem with her empowering book entitled, You’re Not Pretty Enough, as she tackles issues many women, and even some men, deal with on a daily basis of not liking what they see on the other side of the mirror.

“Those words really pierce a woman’s heart,” Tress told ABC News. “The pretty thing is more of an entry into the self-esteem issues, because it’s the easiest and laziest way that we assess ourselves.”

She’s bringing multimedia sessions, or what she calls “salons,” to 100 college campuses around the country, where students come to discuss everything from insecurities to self acceptance.

Tress asks them to take a pledge: Give yourself a valued mantra and help spread the word about tips and tools we can all use to develop a healthy self-image when it comes to beauty norms.

Tress’ movement also solicits people to “Create your own video to contribute to the conversation and help someone else realize they’re not alone.”

Some of the confessions heard in her online movement’s videos include, “You’d be pretty with longer hair,” “There was taunting, there was bullying,” and “There were times when I didn’t feel good in my own skin.”

Experts say this is a real social issue.

“We are far more worried about our own appearances than other people are,” explained Art Markman, a Ph.D. in behavioral psychology.

“While I do think people are more worried about these issues, they are things that they can overcome,” said Markman. “You have to focus on your strengths.”

Today, Tress is remarried to a man who not only thinks she is pretty enough, but is also playing an active role in her crusade.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

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