The Body Image Issue: What You Can Do

When you have a daughter, it is important that you pay close attention to the body image issue. While all genders have the potential to care about how they look, it does tend to be a bigger problem with girls, since there is more pressure put on them to look a certain way. The following tips are going to help you raise your daughter to have a positive body image, which is extremely important for all your children.

Focus on Your Daughter’s Personality and Intelligence

It is okay to compliment the way your daughter looks, but don’t only focus on appearance. Get into the habit of giving her all types of compliments, focusing on her skills, talents, creativity, intelligence, accomplishments, and personality traits. Let her know you are proud of everything she has done, you admire her strength and bravery, and that you are proud of her trying new things. When you don’t put as much emphasis on how your daughter looks, she won’t think so much about it either. She will understand that a person’s appearance is not all they have.

Be Careful What You Do and Say

How you carry yourself and what you say about your own body makes more of a difference than you might think. Your daughter is watching you, even when you don’t realize it. Don’t give her a good reason to mimic your actions and then try to do or say the same things about herself. It is okay to be healthy and for you to encourage your daughter to be healthy, but talking bad about your weight, complaining the scale isn’t moving, or constantly trying new fad diets is not going to teach her anything that will be good for her own body image.

Be Honest About People in the Media

Your daughter is going to see people in the media and might be intimidated by these images. She might want to look like the girls she sees on social media, television, movies, and magazines. It is essential that you keep talking to her about realistic expectations and women’s bodies. Explain that these women might have different circumstances, from a personal trainer and a restricted diet, to simply being born with that frame. It can be a hard discussion to have, but your daughter needs to understand that no two people are alike or will look the same.

Keep reminding your daughter that she should be healthy and proud of the body she has. Try to find the balance between encouraging healthy eating and exercise, but not putting so much emphasis on appearance.