The average girl is exposed to about 180 minutes of media a day, including music videos featuring ultrathin singers who seem to have it all, TV shows where boys prefer the skinny cheerleader over the well-proportioned overachiever, and fashion magazines filled with super-short and tight clothing trends. It’s no wonder girls roll their eyes when they’re told beauty is on the inside; the majority of what they see and hear tells them otherwise. It’s impossible to shield your daughter from these unhealthy media messages completely. But by using these tips to help her recognize that they are unrealistic, you can help her maintain a positive body image.
Watch What She Watches
Try watching your daughter’s favorite TV show with her, and talk about how the female characters are portrayed. Ask her how she feels about the girls on the covers of her magazines. Remind her that nearly all those girls have personal trainers and stylists, and have all been airbrushed to look a certain way. If you can help your daughter realize how unrealistic these images of her “role models” really are, it will be easier for her to feel good about the way she looks, flaws and all.
Think Before You Speak
The best way to keep your daughter's feelings about her body positive is to lead by example. Girls notice when their mothers obsess about working out, what they eat and how they look. Try to concentrate on things about your body you are happy with, and your daughter will learn to find the things about her body that she can be proud of.
Develop Her Talents
Girls involved in extracurricular activities tend to have higher self-esteem and fewer body image issues. Not only do they divert attention from unhealthy media messages for an extra hour or so each day, they help develop talents and find a sense of pride and self-worth.
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