Promoting positive self-esteem
Katie McCabe with her sister Lauryn in Tallaght Stadium

Promoting positive self-esteem

REPUBLIC of Ireland captain Katie McCabe has opened up about her own battles with body image, self-esteem and mental health on a trip to Tallaght this week.

Kilnamanagh native McCabe captained Ireland to qualify for the 2023 World Cup last month after Vera Pauw’s side beat Scotland 1-0 in the play-off tie.

After helping Arsenal to a 4-0 win over Leicester City in the Women’s National League on Sunday, Katie attended Tallaght Community School (TCS) and Kilnamanagh Shopping Centre on Monday.

Talking about how she did not fit the mould of a typical teenage girl, the 27-year-old was very open on her visit.

“Growing up being active and playing football nearly every day, I didn’t fit into the normal mould for a teenage girl,” Katie McCabe said during the Dove Self-Esteem Project.

“I had many times where I felt self-conscious, lacked confidence, and just wanted to give up.

“It would have been brilliant to have access to tools like the Dove Self-Esteem Project to help support those trickier moments.

“I have 10 siblings, so I have seen over the years how self-esteem and body confidence can have a major effect on both boys and girls from a young age.

Katie McCabe in the tunnel running out into Tallaght Stadium

“I was sad, but not shocked to see there is a direct correlation between self-esteem and opting out rates for social activities.

“As a Dove Ambassador I want to help make a change by shedding more light on the importance of supporting young people, to reach their full potential.”

As Katie mentioned, she has 10 siblings. Katie’s brother Calum is currently studying for his Leaving Certificate while her sister Lauryn, who is an underage international, is preparing for the Junior Certificate – both at TCS.

Speaking to a captive 250 pupils, who were mostly from First and Second Year, Katie was very open about her own struggles.

“Katie was focused on the idea of promoting a positive self-esteem through her involvement with the Dove Self-Esteem project,” Michelle Hegarty, teacher in TCS, tells The Echo.

“It’s really important for our young people to hear from somebody like Katie, who is a true role model.

“She spoke about how with social media, it shapes the perception of how we should look and should act.

“The pressure we feel to look and be a certain way can take us out of extra-curricular activities.

“It was a lovely message that Katie was promoting; ‘everybody is different, be true to yourself and follow your own path’.

“Basically, we’re all different, so embrace it. It was a huge honour for us to welcome the captain of the Republic of Ireland to our school to speak to our students and to talk about self-esteem.”

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