These are not times, it seems, that cultivate high self-esteem. In 2011, research from Teesside University found that the "unachievable role models" showcased by TV programmes such as The Apprentice damaged the self-esteem of more than eight out of 10 British youngsters.
And according to research by the skincare brand Dove, low self-esteem among girls and young women could deprive society of a significant proportion of future female managers, sport stars, MPs and doctors.
The research was the prompt for an expansion of the brand's five-year partnership with the eating disorders charity Beat. It has received a £250,000 donation to take already piloted self-esteem workshops into schools. The funding will be used to deliver about 1,400 workshops, reaching about 90,000 people.
According to Susan Ringwood, Beat's chief executive, self-esteem was the "unifying objective" that brought Dove and Beat together in 2006. Ringwood says Beat is committed to tackling the root causes of eating disorders, one of which is low self-esteem. The skincare brand is not new to charity campaigns: as well as funding them it has initiated some, starting with the Campaign for Real Beauty in 2004. The current self-esteem programme also entails a partnership with Girlguiding UK.
Ringwood says there has been a "real congruence" between the two organisations. "We sat down with the senior executives of the Dove team," she says, "and laid our strategic objectives on the table. We don't sell shampoo and they don't run training for doctors - but we have this common agenda."