Stop dreading swimsuit season and teach your daughters to embrace their body in all of its forms. Because Every Body is a Beach Body!
As parents, we know that nurturing a positive body image is crucial to helping our daughters become healthy, well-rounded adults. But our society seems to be fixated, more than ever, on youth and beauty. And beauty is, more than ever, defined as small. Or, to be more precise, small-plus-hot — so that even someone who’s stunningly thin can feel insecure if she’s not also well endowed where it counts.
With a multinational study finding that 85 percent of women and 79 percent of girls have opted out of activities due to a lack of body confidence, cultivating a positive body image in girls is more important than ever. To make it easier for parents to help their daughters develop a positive self-image, we’ve compiled empowering books on body image for all ages, from very young children through teenagers.
It’s OK to be Different (ages 1-6)
Told with Todd Parr’s signature wit and wisdom, It’s Okay to Be Different cleverly delivers the important messages of acceptance, understanding, and confidence in an accessible, child-friendly format.
I Like Myself! (ages 3-8)
High on energy and imagination, this ode to self-esteem encourages kids to appreciate everything about themselves—inside and out. Messy hair? Beaver breath? So what! This book by Karen Beaumont is Teacher’s Pick on Amazon.
Stand Tall, Molly Lou Melon (ages 4-8)
This book by author Patty Lovell was a favorite for my daughter. Molly Lou Melon is short and clumsy, has buck teeth, and has a voice that sounds like a bullfrog being squeezed by a boa constrictor. She doesn’t mind. Her grandmother has always told her to walk proud, smile big, and sing loud, and she takes that advice to heart.
Love Your Body: Your Body Can Do Amazing Things (ages 8-12)
What if every young girl loved her body? Love Your Body encourages you to admire and celebrate your body for all the amazing things it can do (like laugh, cry, hug, and feel) and to help you see that you are so much more than your body. * 2021 Notable Social Studies Trade Books*
The Body Image Book for Girls: Love Yourself and Grow Up Fearless (ages 10 and older)
Through this easy-to-read and beautifully illustrated guide, body image expert and psychology professor Dr. Markey teaches girls how to nurture both mental and physical health to improve their own body image. It shows the positive impact they can have on others, and enables them to go out into the world feeling fearless.
Raising a girl with a healthy body image is complicated but so worth it. If she can be free of limiting, external expectations about her body, then she can be free to truly be herself and unleash her limitless potential.
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