The body image crisis in girls – and how to help

Today we are talking body image! Yes, that’s right – how to love yourself, how to help your tween or teen love themselves, and how to shake all those nasty pressures to be taller, shorter, thinner, larger, more tan, less tan, and have wavier and straighter hair all at once.

It’s impossible! Can we just admit that right now?

One thing that we don’t often discuss is just how connected our body image is to our success in life; it’s scary to think that whether we love and accept our body or not can be a huge factor in whether we succeed in other areas of life.

Yup – relationships, sex, career…it can come down to body appreciation.

Let me explain how.

Plus, read on to know what you can do to ensure you set yourself up – and your tween or teen up – to succeed in all that you do.

I’m going to be straight with you, if you’re a woman, loving yourself and how you look is not easy. Not because you don’t look good (girl, have you looked in the mirror lately? You are a vision!!) It’s also not to say that if you’re a man you automatically appreciate how you look, it’s just that society makes it easier for you to love yourself – or at the very least – be less concerned about your looks and the impact they could have on your success.

Studies have shown that women’s looks have direct effects on whether they land a job and what their pay rate is. Men, not so much.

It’s already unfair and heartbreaking.

I’m not writing this to make you feel like crap. I’m writing this so that we can band together with the knowledge that if we don’t love ourselves its not because there is something inherently wrong with how we look, but rather there is a societal pressure that works against us. It’s an uphill climb. So don’t personalize it.

What I mean by that is don’t you dare think that your insecurities are because you are flawed!! Your insecurities are the result of a society that says your will never be enough. Those insecurities aren’t telling the truth. They are reactions to outside pressures.

And there is a specific reason for that: Women’s beauty and diet products are one of the biggest drivers of the current economy. Trillions of dollars would be lost if women accepted who they were and raised a big ol’ middle finger to the industry that says you’re not enough…

How we feel about ourselves affects how our daughter feel about themselves.

Normally I’d jump right into parenting, but this is one of those instances where you really need to address YOU first. Because tweens and teens look up to you first and foremost.

Your daughters especially mirror how you talk about your body. A parent that talks trash about themselves can teach a child – as young as 5!! – to think trash about themselves!

Plus, tweens and teens are exposed to 5000 images and ads a day – most heavily filtered. They see what they are supposedly “supposed” to look like to get “likes”, and then they see themselves reflected in your eyes and in your body (if they are biological to you). Putting two and two together, they need you to love yourself so they know that if they don’t look like the women in those ads, they are still beautiful and worthy.

Girls that don’t think they are pretty enough are more likely to give up on tasks or career paths they really want.

This is how body image and success are tied. If you think you aren’t good looking enough to make the cheer team, or to start that youtube channel, or to go for that promotion…sadly, your success is directly affected. If you think you aren’t attractive enough to ask that person you really like on a date, you may never have a chance to see that happily ever after that you dream of.

A strong body image is the foundation of so much in life. Let’s start girls off right.