Raising a Girl with Positive Body Image

A healthy body image is an important part of a growing girl's self-esteem. Understand what you can do to help your daughter feel comfortable with her body.

Here are few causes of a negative body image-

Maintaining a healthy body image during adolescence is often difficult for girls. Factors that may harm a girl's body image include:

  • Having a mother who's overly concerned about her own weight or her daughter's weight or appearance
  • Natural weight gain and other changes caused by puberty
  • Peer pressure to look a certain way
  • Media images that promote the ideal female body as thin
  • Being teased about her weight. 


Talking about body image with your daughter will help here come out of this negativity about her body.

  • Explain the effects of puberty and genetics. Make sure your daughter understands that weight gain is a normal part of her development, especially during puberty. Explain that body shape also is largely influenced by genetic factors.
  • Discuss media messages. Television programs, movies, music videos, Web sites, magazines and even some children's toys may send your daughter the message that only a certain body type is acceptable. Check out what your daughter is reading or watching and discuss it with her. Encourage her to talk about and question what she's seen or heard.
  • Discuss self-image. Talk to your daughter about her self-image and offer reassurance that healthy body shapes vary. Ask her what she likes about herself and explain what you like about her, too. Your acceptance and respect can help her build self-esteem and resilience.
  • Use positive language. Rather than talking about "fat" and "thin," encourage your daughter to focus on maintaining a healthy weight by eating right and staying active. Encourage family and friends to refrain from using hurtful nicknames and joking about people who are overweight or have a large body frame.


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