Parent power: how to promote positive body image in girls
It’s rare to see models that reflect the diversity humankind has to offer. Instead, society promotes a narrow range of women as the embodiment of beauty. Constant reinforcement of this beauty “ideal” can directly impact girls’ body confidence. Studies showOpens in new window🔗 that 80% of girls report lower self-esteem after just 60 minutes of reading a women’s magazine.
It’s imperative that we champion all types of beauty – especially those that are different to the so-called “ideal”. Chantelle’s success is not just a breakthrough for her, but for representation and perceptions of beauty as a whole.
Start a conversation with your daughter about her feelings on her own beauty and body image. Does she ever feel the need to conform to a certain look? Introduce her to other models whose distinctive qualities set them apart but also add to their beauty, like plus-size Candice Huffine, 64-year-old Jacky O’Shaughnessy, or Jillian Mercado, who has muscular dystrophy.
Show her that beauty isn’t about fitting into a mold
Every girl has the right to feel beautiful and confident. Make sure your daughter knows that being beautiful isn’t about possessing pre-approved traits or features.
Do you have a unique feature you love because it makes you special? Talk about it with her and ask her to share one of her own. Try taking turns naming unique traits in other girls and women you both admire.
The more you explore what beauty really means, the more she’ll understand that she doesn’t need to live up to any “ideal”. Show her that true beauty is inner beauty – being comfortable with yourself, having confidence in your personality, and celebrating all the quirks and qualities that make you one of a kind.