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girl with lipstickWomen in this day and age are strangely obsessed with weight and physical appearance, and I am certainly a woman of this day and age. Thankfully I’m not obsessed in the ways I was as a young teenager, constantly feeling too tall, too fat, too flat-chested, and overall as though I “wasn’t ____ enough”.

I’m not going to over-analyze all the reasons I had crappy self-esteem as a kid. I bring it up only because I can relate with the thousands+ females out there who struggle to feel confident or proud of how they look. We live in a culture that explicitly manipulates and preys on our emotions, making us feel some sort of lack that compels us to buy things. It’s easy for girls and women to be seduced into believing that we have to whiten our teeth, buy the newest smart phone, wear this type of makeup, get botox injections and fit into a size 0 to be beautiful.

What bullshit.

That’s why I find the following article so interesting – it’s a different way for parents to address their daughters’ physical appearance. It’s a drastically different approach from what I experienced growing up, and I’d love to hear what you think. Here’s how the article begins:

“How to talk to your daughter about her body, step one: don’t talk to your daughter about her body, except to teach her how it works. (This step reminds me of the first rule of Fight Club!)

Don’t say anything if she’s lost weight. Don’t say anything if she’s gained weight.

If you think your daughter’s body looks amazing, don’t say that. Here are some things you can say instead:

“You look so healthy!” is a great one.

Or how about, “you’re looking so strong.”

“I can see how happy you are – you’re glowing.”

Better yet, compliment her on something that has nothing to do with her body.

Don’t comment on other women’s bodies either. Nope. Not a single comment, not a nice one or a mean one.

Teach her about kindness towards others, but also kindness towards yourself.” (YES).

Read the full article here.

All adults model the behaviors and values that we find important. I’m amazed at how automatically I’ll comment on girls’ physical appearance when I first see them, giving a compliment about how great they look, etc. – even now that I’m aware of that tendency, it still catches me by surprise! (The post How to Talk to Little Girls addresses this topic as well).

I hope to model an interest and emphasis on something more substantive, while still helping girls to discover their own beauty. Any tips you have are most welcome : )

How do you talk to your daughter about her body?

What’s been helpful & what hasn’t?

Share below!

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