Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Save Our Daughters part IV: What You Can Do

This is part IV of my Save Our Daughters series. If you have not read parts I - III, please do so.

Mothers ask yourself these questions:
  • How do I feel about my own body?
  • Do I make negative comments about my body or the bodies of other women?
  • Am I often on a diet, over-exercising, or obsessing about my weight?
  • Do I hide my body from my family and friends?
  • Am I critical about my child's body?
  • Do I make negative comments about my child's weight or eating habits?
  • Have I ever restricted my child's food intake for fear that she would get fat?
  • Have I focused more attention on my daughter's weight than my son's?
    taken from University of Florida Extension
Like so many other things, mothers are the first line of defense when it comes to stopping poor body image and eating disorders. I know that many people fall into the trap of 'blaming the media,' but young girls get their cues primarily from the women around them. Little girls don't care what Victoria Beckham or Katie Holmes look like. They don't care that Heidi Klum walked the runway weeks after giving birth. They care what you think about yourself, they notice how you interact with food, and they listen when you speak negatively. By the time your daughter gets to the age that she may care about celebrities, your impressions on her already solidified the way she thinks about body image. Yes, the media sucks...so what. What really matters is how you feel about yourself and what you do around your kids.

Please reflect on the above questions & take action NOW if you find that you may be negatively influencing your kids' thoughts on body image. There are lots of resources out there, including books, websites, and educational articles.

A few resources to get you started:

Pierson, S., & Cohen, P. (2003). You have to say I'm pretty, you're my mother: How to help your daughter learn to love her body and herself. StateplaceNew York: Simon & Schuster.




  1. I am a teacher and a writer and a Mom, I can see th need for positive self image in my female students for sure, but also in the boys and in my nephews and sons. We all need to learn to see our own beauty and celebrate our uniquenesses.

    Love your Blog, BTW, Blog Hopper here.

    Dixie Goode

  2. definitely something for me to think about...thanks for this! I'm over from the hop! I can't wait to read more from you...

  3. Great content...thanks for the info...Just hopped over to check out....keep up the good work

  4. All great thoughts to consider. Thanks for sharing. I also think it is important to make sure dads are aware of these things too because for me it was a flippant comment my dad made after a soccer game that got me obsessing about being "fat".


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