Facts & Tips About Adolescent Girls & Body Image
- 7 in 10 girls believe they are not good enough or do not measure up in some way
- 62% of girls feel insecure or not sure of themselves
- 57% of girls have a mother who criticizes her own looks
- 67% of girls age 13-17 will turn to their mother as a resource when feeling badly about themselves compared to 91% of girls age 8-12
- The top wish among girls in the study was for parents to communicate better with them
- Girls with low self-esteem are less likely to receive praise from either parent and more likely to receive criticism compared to girls with high self-esteem.
Findings from the “Real Girls, Real Pressure: A National Report on the State of Self-Esteem”. (2008, Dove Self-Esteem Fund )
Show curiosity and support for the unique person your daughter is — focus on who she is — not who you think she should be.
Ask your daughter to share the things she likes about herself. Ask her about her goals and what’s important to her.
Take every opportunity to tell your daughter the specific skills, traits and attributes she possesses that you admire and enjoy — be specific (“You have a great sense of humor!” “You are a kind friend.” “I am proud of how you stuck with that difficult project.”) Focus on things are not related to body and looks.
Avoid making a lot of comments about your daughter’s looks and shape. Definitely avoid all criticism or teasing about her body, weight and looks.
Avoid making negative comments about your own looks and shape.
Make it safe for your daugther to talk with you — make the time, be focused, ask questions, seek understanding rather than judgment.
Make sure your daughter knows that you seek to understand and support all aspects of her — not just the “perfect” or “nice” parts.
Talk with your daughter about media images and messages — what’s real, what’s not and how it may affect you both.
Help to make healthy food, physical activity and adequate sleep a part of your family’s daily routine.
Talk about women you admire — focus on their strengths and unique abilities and personality rather than looks.