In today’s world girls are bombarded with images and advertisements about being beautiful. It is hard to grow up with all of these ideals, and most girls grow up with a negative self – image. We don’t want this for our daughters, but how do you combat all the imagery that is all around them?
The first place to start is just letting your daughters know that self-value comes from who you are, not how you look. Practice what you preach, and let your girl see that while you take care of yourself, you worry more about how you act and what you believe, not just what you look like.
When you see a TV show of movie that promotes sexy looks for younger girls, have a frank discussion with them. Ask them if they feel pressured to look a certain way, or wear certain clothes. Take time to really listen to them and see how they are impacted by the pressure around them.
Be ready for the “But everyone is wearing this!” talk. Schools do have dress codes, but the kids find ways around them. If your daughter wants to wear something you consider inappropriate, ask her why she likes that outfit. Explain to her why you do not think she should be wearing those clothes.
Use your voice. Don’t just say no when she asks you to buy a certain product. Explain why you feel the way you do. Support companies that portray women in a good way. Write letters to companies that show women as objects, and let your daughter know you are speaking up. She will see by your example that a strong woman stands up for what she believes in.
Encourage your daughters to get involved in activities they like. Whether it is sports, music, or something else, let your daughter find an activity to do. Give your daughter outlets (other than clothes or appearance) to express her creativity and show her personality. Finding something you love to do and are good at increases self-confidence and will give your daughter a better feeling about herself.
MORAL OF THE STORY: Give your daughter a chance to express herself, but set boundaries and help her to understand that she is exceptional the way she is.