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Help your daughter value her body for more than its appearance

Help your daughter value her body for more than its appearance

In a world where appearances sometimes seem to matter more than anything else, it's important to redress the balance and help shift your daughter's attention from how her body looks, to all the amazing things her body helps her do. 

Appreciating your daughter's outer beauty is important, but so is valuing the other traits that make her special. With Dr Julie Smith’s ‘I Challenge You’ TikTok video, you can help your daughter realise we have many qualities beyond our appearance, and that measuring our worth by comparing looks can have a negative impact on ourselves and others.

Your daughter's beauty is more than skin deep

It's considered normal to compliment girls on their looks. When we meet someone new, we might say they’re pretty before we say that they’re kind, smart, or strong. While we may genuinely mean it as a compliment, we're inadvertently reinforcing the importance of good looks, which can add to the pressure from social media and the outside world. We're also missing an opportunity to reinforce other things we value.

Focusing on inner beauty doesn't mean you can never talk about appearance again. But, praising the things you appreciate in your daughter – and in other people – that are not appearance-related, will help her appreciate the value of those as well. By focusing on actions and behaviour, you will help your daughter to recognise all of her wonderful qualities, building her self-esteem and encouraging her to see herself in a more positive light.

Talk openly about the amazing things our bodies can do 

From dancing to learning to healing – our bodies support us every day. They give us the strength to have fun with friends, explore the world and achieve our dreams. From the day we’re born, our bodies are doing their best for us, and we think that’s worth celebrating. No matter what her hobbies are, ensuring your daughter has a diverse range of role models who inspire her with their strength, intelligence and personality is important for helping her reach her full potential.

Focus on who people are, not how they look

Recognising there is more to beauty than the way we look is vital in becoming body confident. By learning to appreciate other people's attributes and qualities, your daughter will begin to see beyond her own appearance and start to like all sorts of other things about herself. There is so much more to celebrate beyond how we look – like kindness, creativity, and trying your best. Showing your daughter the inner qualities you care about will help her to value more than just her appearance. 

Dr Julie Smith’s ‘I Challenge You’ TikTok video

Dr Julie Smith is a clinical psychologist, online educator and content creator who is encouraging young people to appreciate their bodies for more than their appearance. By challenging us to shift our focus to the power of our body’s strength, brain and senses, Dr Julie shows just how wonderful our bodies are. By challenging us to shift our focus to the power of our strength, brain and senses, Dr Julie shows just how wonderful our bodies are.

Together, we’re celebrating some of the things our bodies do for us, so we can keep building young people’s self-esteem. Try making your own TikTok with the hashtags #Dove and #BodyConfidence to show what you value about your body.

Dove I Challenge You
  • 1

    Work together to focus on the positives

    Write down and share the things you admire in one another which aren't related to appearance. It could be that you’re a great singer, or that your daughter is doing well at her swimming lessons. 

  • 2

    Show your daughter you value her inner qualities

    Telling your daughter the ways in which you value and are proud of her will help build her self-esteem. She might feel like her inner qualities don’t matter, but you can remind her of how important they are.

  • 3

    Be specific

    When you offer praise, giving examples will help your daughter understand her value. Instead of saying “you’re a really hard worker”, saying "I'm impressed with how much effort you put into your English essay" will make her feel even more special.

next steps

  • Explore the The Real Me video and activities with your daughter
  • Ask her why she thinks the focus is so often on how a woman looks? What does she hope people will notice about her apart from her appearance?
  • Encourage your daughter to have the same kind of conversation with her friends. Maybe they could set up a 'things I like about you' online group and post encouraging messages and thoughts?
  • Visit Dr Julie Smith's YouTube channel🔗 and TikTok page🔗 for more videos
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