Clear launches #KeepAClearHead, a global campaign to equip young people with the resilience they need to perform at their best in the face of rising social anxiety

Clear, a global anti-dandruff hair care brand of Unilever, today announces the launch of a global campaign – #KeepAClearHead – aimed at equipping young people with the support and tools they need to become more resilient in the face of rising social anxiety. To help highlight the issue, the brand has released ‘The Long Walk’, a film starring celebrity ambassador Cristiano Ronaldo which gives viewers an insight into the journey he takes in preparing for a match. In the film, Ronaldo urges young people to keep a clear head as they go through their own Long Walk, encouraging them to be more resilient in the face of life’s challenges.

In The Long Walk, Ronaldo explains: “I have taken this walk a thousand times and still the first step is the hardest. I can hear my heart beating in my head, but I give each beat a name: Spirit, courage, greatness. As the noise rises around me, a roar rises in my throat. Your love makes me strong, your hate makes me unstoppable.”

Clear believes that everyone should be able to perform at their best. However, social anxiety, defined by the ‘fear of being judged’, can stop people from performing at their full potential. Globally, over 284 million individuals suffer from anxiety disorders[1], a quarter of whom are between the ages of 10 and 24[2]. While anxiety disorders often develop during adolescence and early adulthood[3], social anxiety tends to have an earlier onset – between the age of 5-10 on average[4], and can have consequences that prevents individuals from reaching their best potential. Social anxiety has become a major problem for many young people around the world as more and more expectations are placed on them to succeed. Now more than ever before, as a consequence of our ‘always on’ culture and lives lived in full view through social media, young people find themselves under intense scrutiny and pressure to perform.

To develop a world-leading approach to helping young people build resilience and prevent social anxiety, CLEAR is working in partnership with the Resilience Research Centre (RRC) at Dalhousie University and Dr. Michael Ungar, Director of the RRC at Dalhousie University and author of Change Your World: The Science of Resilience and the True Path to Success. Ungar, is one of the world’s leading social scientists whose work is raising awareness of the growing issue of social anxiety and the need to shift our focus to equipping young people with the supports they need to achieve both ruggedness AND resourcefulness to be able to tackle life’s many challenges.

“To understand social anxiety, one has to distinguish between a social anxiety disorder, which is the most severe form of the problem and debilitating in more than one area of a person’s life, and what is called “non-clinical” social anxiety which is far more common. More serious social anxiety has long-term negative consequences for young people so it’s important to recognise the early signs of the disorder and prevent even mild social anxiety before it gets worse,” said Ungar.

Together with Clear, Ungar and his team of researchers are showing that one’s ability to overcome social anxiety and challenging problems in life depends on both how rugged we are as individuals, and how resourced and supported we are by our families, friends, co-workers and communities. Ungar explains why Cristiano Ronaldo is the true personification of resilience: “His life teaches us that to be successful and resilient, two things are important. First, we need to be a rugged individual, which means taking full advantage of our talents and being positive about our future. Second, we need to be a resourced individual, with people who believe in us and the opportunities to put our talents to good use. Ronaldo has both strengths — he knows how to use his incredible talent, and his many supports, including the love of his fans, to realise his full potential. When we are both rugged and resourced, we are far more likely to become our very best selves.”

Clear is committed to enabling people to perform at their best, driving a positive change both by addressing the global issue of social anxiety and working with the RRC to develop programs and resources designed to build resilience, so that young people can better cope with social anxiety. #KeepAClearHead will see the brand working in partnership with Michael Ungar and his team to develop a curriculum and resources hub which will be rolled out globally and will help young people assess their levels of ruggedness and resourcefulness and how to develop new strategies to find and use the resources they need to better tackle social anxiety. The brand will also leverage pop culture through a partnership with Marvel to create a series of thought-provoking superhero short films and inspiring edutainment content to help young people understand the importance of building resilience and recognising the resources around them to better cope with self-doubt and social anxiety.

“Clear helps people to defy judgement and perform at their best. As an anti-dandruff shampoo, we want people to look and feel their best by clearing dandruff, which can be a cause of social anxiety. However, we believe we can play a bigger role in tackling the need to build resilience in young people to help them deal with every facet of social anxiety. Working in partnership, we want to build a generation of resilient youths who are able to perform at their best, despite increasing social pressures,” said Tri Tran-Tue, Global Brand Vice President, Clear, Unilever.

To learn more about #KeepAClearHead and to watch The Long Walk, visit https://www.clearhaircare.com/arabia/en/keepaclearhead.html

For more information on social anxiety among youths, please refer to the appendix.

APPENDIX

KEEPACLEARHEAD: TACKLING THE GROWING GLOBAL ISSUE OF SOCIAL ANXIETY BY HELPING TODAY’S GENERATION OF YOUNG PEOPLE DEVELOP RESILIENCE.

Introduction

To understand social anxiety, one has to distinguish between a social anxiety disorder, which is the most severe form of the problem and debilitating in more than one area of a person’s life, and what is called “non-clinical” social anxiety which is far more common. More serious social anxiety has long-term negative consequences for young people so it’s important to recognise the early signs of the disorder and prevent even mild social anxiety before it gets worse.

Michael Ungar, Director of the Resilience Research Centre at Dalhousie University and author of Change Your World: The Science of Resilience and the True Path to Success

“To be at the top of my game, I have to be at my very best inside and out. We are only at our best when we fight against the best; I welcome strong rivals as they make me stronger. Their fans may boo me, but rather than let that tear me down, I channel their hate to build me up and be unstoppable.”

Cristiano Ronaldo, football superstar and Clear global ambassador

Social Anxiety: a growing global issue

In an ‘always on’ world, where we increasingly live our lives in full view and open to public scrutiny via social media, the issue of social anxiety is becoming a global problem. Over 284 million individuals suffer from anxiety disorders[5], a quarter of whom are between the ages of 10 and 24[6]. While anxiety disorders often develop during adolescence and early adulthood[7], social anxiety tends to have an earlier onset – between the age of 5-10 on average[8], and can have consequences that prevents individuals from leading fulfilling lives later in adulthood.

The most common held view on how best to deal with social anxiety tends to focus on developing coping strategies from within ourselves – having a positive attitude or dispelling negative thoughts that can trigger anxiety. Most solutions focus on becoming a more ‘rugged’ individual. However, we believe that this issue cannot be tackled by ruggedness alone; there is also a need to help young people become better ‘resourced’ individuals that can recognise and find the supports necessary to better cope with life’s challenges.

Why is Clear getting involved?

As an anti-dandruff shampoo, Clear helps people look and feel their best by clearing dandruff, which can be a cause of social anxiety. However, we believe we can play an even larger role in building resilience in young people, helping them deal with every facet of social anxiety. Working in partnership with the Resilience Research Centre (RRC) at Dalhousie University, we want to build a generation of resilient youths who are able to perform at their best despite increasing social pressures.

The Director of the RRC, Michael Ungar, is one of the world’s leading social scientists whose work is raising awareness of the growing issue of social anxiety and the need to shift our focus to equipping young people with the supports they need to achieve both ruggedness AND resourcefulness to be able to tackle life’s many challenges.

This year we are launching #KeepAClearHead, a global campaign which, together with our expert partners, global ambassadors and local influencers, to raise awareness of social anxiety, its causes and impact on young people and provide practical help and advice on how best to cope with it.

What is social anxiety?

Social anxiety itself is something normal and natural — it is a mechanism that helps us to be aware of dangers to survive. In fact, everyone experiences some mild form of social anxiety throughout their lifetime when they are faced with new situations such as changing schools, starting a new relationship or when applying for their first job.

The most common definition of social anxiety is a persistent fear of being in social situations where one is exposed to the scrutiny of others, real or imagined. For example, a mild level of social anxiety can cause one to have trouble concentrating at work, performing on tests or make one feel tense when mixing socially.

Social Anxiety: a global issue with local nuances

While social anxiety has been observed in people all around the world, it can look and feel different depending on contexts and cultures. In a Western context such as the United States, it tends to appear as social withdrawal and anxiety when asked to speak with, or in front of others. However, in Asian cultures social anxiety often appears as shame, or worry that one’s actions will offend others. In China and other Asian countries, social anxiety is often referred to as social phobia. A study of social anxiety among Chinese people indicated a unique symptom: fear of making others uncomfortable or influencing them in a way that is not beneficial. In Japan and Korea, there is Taijin Kyofusho (TKS) , which refers to worry about being observed or offending other people. Those with TKS generally avoid a wide range of social situations.5

Rising social anxiety fueled by the pressures to succeed and the fear of missing out

Social anxiety has become a major problem for many youths around the world as they are burdened with expectations to succeed. We are also living in a time where the changing economic and social conditions make success increasingly difficult.

The rise of social media has added a new dimension to social anxiety as it offers youths a way of directly quantifying friendships, viewing the friendship networks of others for comparison, and providing immediate information about social events. Youths cannot help but compare their own popularity with that of their peers, and constantly battle with the adolescent ‘fear of missing out’ (FOMO).

Today, social anxiety can be a social survival mechanism, helping us avoid situations where we are vulnerable. An individual who experiences too much social anxiety tends to be overly cautious and this can dampen the chances of performing at their best and achieving their goals. Too much social anxiety is also associated with poor outcomes, as one might feel ‘frozen’ or ‘paralysed’, or just feel that they are unable to do things that show the best sides of themselves.

For instance, when it comes to first impressions, being overly concerned about saying the wrong thing might lead us to say very little, which would be bad if it stops one from getting on well with others, diminishing the desire to meet up again in the future. The constant fear that people will reject you when you make the smallest mistake can snowball into serious long-term consequences like social isolation. This pattern of behaviour can extend into adulthood and manifests in many different parts of our lives. The good news is, social anxiety can be prevented, reduced, and mastered by becoming resilient.

Being ‘Rugged AND Resourced’ are key to tackling social anxiety

When building resilience in an individual, we often focus on building up the individual’s ruggedness which involves mindset, positive attitude and ability to bounce back from challenges. However, ruggedness alone cannot explain why some people do well and others still fail when exposed to the same amount of stress.

Being rugged involves strong internal qualities like having good problem-solving and self-regulation skills, strong self-control, an ability to learn from past mistakes, and optimism. For example, putting forward new statements about situations that scare us and our ability to handle them and internalising these statements challenges negative thinking with reason. This forms an individual’s rugged response to break the cycle of unnecessary concern and worry.

The new science of resilience, however, is showing that the chances of success depends just as much on the quality of the support we get from our families, neighbours, friends, employers, schools, and even community programs which are there for us when we are confronted by unusual challenges in our lives. When the world around us helps bring out our best and provides opportunities to realise our goals, and encourages us to think positive thoughts, believe in ourselves, and change our behaviours for the better, we are more likely to be bolder and more successful in our day to day life.

This is especially relevant to the youths of today who need help but might not know where and how to get the resources to learn how to cope. There are at least seven aspects of a young person’s life known to help nurture resilience (see below).

Clear’s purpose and commitment

As a global brand, Clear has been helping millions of people around the world to have the confidence to perform by clearing their dandruff, which is a source of anxiety and doubt. We want to inspire people to show the world what they are made of and help them become resilient, equipping them with the resources they need to better cope with anxiety and self-doubt.

We recognised and want to shed light on the realities of social anxiety and how it affects youths globally. We want to let them know that they are not alone and to help them discover and put into practice rugged AND resourceful practices to help them better cope with life’s challenges, so they can perform at their best.

Clear is committed to addressing the global issue of social anxiety by working with experts to develop programs and resources designed to build resilience. #KeepAClearHead is the introduction to an ongoing program being developed in close collaboration with Michael Ungar and his international team at the RRC, that aims to advocate for a new way of thinking about resilience. Going beyond the traditional emphasis on individual ruggedness often advocated in Western thinking, our upcoming curriculum and resources hub aims to address the current needs of youth today — to support and help them recognize social anxiety, assess their levels of ruggedness and resourcefulness and develop new strategies to find and use the resources they need to better tackle social anxiety.

In addition, we have also teamed up with Marvel to produce a series of superhero films, thought-provoking and inspiring edutainment content and activations to better engage with youths on the importance of building resilience by surrounding yourself with supportive friends and family who can help you navigate life’s twists and turns.

Globally, we continuously hope to drive positive change by rallying the support of our celebrity ambassadors and local influencers, so that together, we can create a movement of resilient youths who are able to perform at their best.

KeepAClearHead #NothingToHide

To find out more, visit https://www.clearhaircare.com/arabia/en/keepaclearhead.html

[1] https://ourworldindata.org/mental-health

[2] Global Burden of Disease Collaborative Network. (2017). Global Burden of Disease Study 2017 Results. Seattle, United States: Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME), 2018. Available from http://ghdx.healthdata.org/gbd-results-tool.

[3] Remes, O., Brayne, C., & Lafortune, L. (2014). The prevalence of anxiety disorders across the life course: a systematic review of reviews. The Lancet, 384, S66.

[4] Kessler, R. C., Aguilar ‐ Gaxiola, S., Alonso, J., Chatterji, S., Lee, S., Ormel, J., … Wang, P. S. (2009). The global burden of mental disorders: An update from the WHO World Mental Health (WMH) surveys. Epidemiologia e Psichiatria Sociale, 18, 23–33.

[5] https://ourworldindata.org/mental-health

[6] Global Burden of Disease Collaborative Network. (2017). Global Burden of Disease Study 2017 Results. Seattle, United States: Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME), 2018. Available from http://ghdx.healthdata.org/gbd-results-tool.

[7] Remes, O., Brayne, C., & Lafortune, L. (2014). The prevalence of anxiety disorders across the life course: a systematic review of reviews. The Lancet, 384, S66.

[8] Kessler, R. C., Aguilar ‐ Gaxiola, S., Alonso, J., Chatterji, S., Lee, S., Ormel, J., … Wang, P. S. (2009). The global burden of mental disorders: An update from the WHO World Mental Health (WMH) surveys. Epidemiologia e Psichiatria Sociale , 18, 23–33.

  1. https://www.verywellmind.com/cultural-social-anxiety-disorder-3024706

About Clear
Launched in 1975, Clear has one goal in mind, to provide the most effective dandruff solution to its consumers. Since then, we’ve never looked back and have set off to take the world by storm. Unlike many other shampoos which only wash dandruff away, Clear shampoos are engineered to not only remove dandruff flakes, but also boost your scalp’s natural self-defence, ending recurring dandruff concern.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *