How girls can develop 'critical' confidence in the #MeToo era

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Developing confidence and “creating a speak-up culture among girls is essential in the #MeToo era,” according to an author of a new book that shares actionable ways girls can develop and spread confidence.

“There is no quality more essential and yet maddeningly out of reach for teen girls today than confidence,” Claire Shipman, co-author of The Confidence Code for Girls with Katty Kay, told Good Morning America.

Confidence is “critical for resilience, success, satisfaction and happiness,” she added. Yet as girls grow up, especially at around the time they reach adolescence, they “aren’t building confidence as well as boys are.”

“Even though girls are scaling great academic and intellectual heights,” Shipman said, “they also become mired in rumination, people-pleasing, perfectionism and anxiety.”

Social media contributes to that “quagmire,” Shipman said, as it can result in the “dizzying escalation of social conflicts and drama; the ever-present comparisons to other kids posting only the most polished, airbrushed images; and the addiction to the dopamine rush of getting ‘likes’ and followers.”

#CaptureConfidence campaign

Instagram has partnered with GMA and the authors of The Confidence Code for Girls to launch a campaign to fight back against and use social media as a tool to spread and develop confidence for girls. The #CaptureConfidence campaign encourages girls to share images that express their true, most confident selves.

Whether that be through sharing photos of activism work you take pride in or just sharing a selfie embracing your natural hair, the new campaign encourages participants to share snapshots of confidence in all its forms, with the hashtag #CaptureConfidence. On Wednesday, GMA will feature some of the images on the show and on GMA social channels.

Instagram tapped five women who are using the platform to inspire their communities and raise awareness about important issues to express their unique and confident selves in a photo shoot.

The key ways girls can create confidence is by “taking risks, dealing with failure and embracing authenticity,” Shipman said.

In the book, the authors developed a mantra, dubbed the “A Confident Girl’s Manifesto,” that they recommend reading along to at least once a week to help develop confidence.

“When the focus is on showing their confidence, showing themselves feeling confident — not pretty or perfect,” Shipman said, “girl strength will spread exponentially.”

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