Healthy friendships: how friends can help encourage a girl’s inner beauty
We're sure you could list three things you find beautiful about your best friend – but could you do the same for yourself? Watch our video and use our action checklist to explore why we’re so hard on ourselves when it comes to compliments.
Why don’t we appreciate ourselves?
We made the Friends video by asking women: “What do you love about your body?” And then asking them: “What do you love about your friend’s body?”
Can you guess the reactions to each?
It’s often easy to recognise the things we like and admire in other people, but we find it harder to see those things in ourselves. According to The Dove Global Beauty and Confidence Report in 2016, only 31% of British women feel confident in their own beauty. Why do we default to such a critical opinion of ourselves?
Each of us is unique; we’re the sum of our cultures, families, backgrounds, choices, lifestyles and much more. By constantly comparing our whole selves to selected features of those around us – this friend's figure, that friend's hair, another friend's glamorous wardrobe – we create an impossible ideal that we can never live up to.
It’s important to recognise what's beautiful about our appearance, but also to remember that looks aren't the whole story.
Try our action checklist with your child and learn to compliment yourselves.
Watch the Friends video together
Then think of five things you like about one another and five things you each like about yourselves. Focus on the inside and the outside: physicality, personality and character
Talk to your friends about things other than appearance
Show your friends you value their personalities and other characteristics by complimenting them on aspects other than their looks
Apply the ‘what would my best friend say?’ test
Next time you’re being tough on yourself about how you look, remember the Friends video. What would your best friend say to you if she were there? Use the encouragement you know they’d give you to stop the self-criticism
- Share this video and activity about how to respond to compliments – and give them in return – with your child. You might both learn something about being kind to yourself and others without focusing on appearance
- Talk to your child about what you find beautiful about her, and ask her to do the same for you
- Get your child talking to her friends. What do they learn? How does it make them feel? Perhaps they could make and share a Friends video of their own?