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7 Ways to Help Your Daughter Love Her Body

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One of the most freeing feelings in the world is loving yourself just as you are — but in a world where girls are constantly bombarded with messages about what their bodies should look like, raising them to be body positive can feel like an impossible task. A study by the Girl Scouts found that 80% of 10-year-old girls are afraid of getting fat, and other studies have found that 85% of women and 79% of girls have opted out of activities due to a lack of body confidence. With kids and teens being exposed to narrow standards of beauty in media, marketing, and online, many adults may wonder what they can do to turn the tide.

Fortunately, there are ways for parents, educators, coaches, and other caring adults to support girls in developing a positive body image! By establishing a healthy lens for looking at bodies — both their own and others’ — we can help girls recognize their bodies for what they are: an amazing vehicle that helps carry them to their successes, but doesn’t define them or their worth. By talking to them about how marketing frequently uses dissatisfaction with your appearance as a sales technique, we can help them untangle the subtle negative messages that surround them. And by teaching them how to stand up against body shaming, we can help establish a culture that recognizes that all bodies have unique talents and beauties worth celebrating.

Acknowledge and Celebrate that All Bodies Look and Work Differently

Parents may hesitate to talk to girls about diverse bodies because they don’t want to draw attention to differences, but the Girl Scouts Developmental Psychologist Dr. Andrea Bastiani Archibald asserts that it’s important to recognize that bodies aren’t meant to all look or work the same: “We’re all different in so many ways, and it’s counterproductive to pretend that we’re not.” Humans come in a wide variety of skin tones, heights, and weights; we have birthmarks, hair loss, visible disabilities, and many other distinguishing features. Those differences are real, and by acting as if they don’t exist — or shushing a child who asks about them — we inadvertently teach them that body diversity is shameful and off-limits for discussion. CLICK TO KEEP READING

-Mighty Girl

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