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How to stop the cycle of body-shaming 

by | Jun 21, 2024 | Teenagers | 0 comments

Body-shaming is on the rise.  Making negative comments about their own body or someone else’s body is a growing trend for teenage girls. 

The negative effects of body shaming are depression, anxiety, body dysmorphia, and extreme diet or exercise habits. But the good news is that girls don’t really want to body shame. With the right support and guidance, they can escape this current damaging trend and start to see beyond their physical appearance.  They can learn to reframe their negative thoughts and become more confident and secure. 

 

Strengthen Values 

 

Body shame decreases as women get older because their values change. They recognize the value of their achievements, their personal and professional goals and put less emphasis on their body shape and weight. 

Helping your teenage daughter connect with her core values is critical to helping her gain confidence that does not depend on body image.   Begin to explore your daughter’s core values by asking questions like: 

What’s important to you? 

What really matters?  

When do you feel your happiest/most confident? 

As her value system strengthens, she will begin to see that there are many more important things than the size of her waist. 

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Connect thoughts with feelings 

 

Most teenagers don’t fully understand how their thoughts influence their feelings and actions. Often, girls don’t realize that the more they body-shame, the worse they feel. Anytime you hear your daughter voice her body-shaming thoughts, ask her, 

Is that a helpful way to talk to yourself about yourself?

Do you feel good when you believe that about yourself? 

You can also ask her about the thoughts or beliefs that trigger positive feelings. For example, you might find an example of someone with body confidence and ask, what do you think he/she is telling herself about herself? 

These questions build your daughter’s awareness of her inner dialogue and highlight self-accepting, body-positive thoughts. 

Talk with a confidence-building coach 

 

It isn’t always easy for parents to have conversations with their teenage daughters about body image or body shame. Most parents worry about putting too much emphasis on appearance or saying something that might make matters worse.  Even if you can have constructive conversations with your daughter, she may still struggle with insecurity and a poor self-image.  A life coach can help build her confidence and develop a positive self-image.  Through coaching, she will learn how to cope with the negative influences of social media, comparison, and idealized images of perfection.  She will gain the tools to shift body shame into body acceptance so she moves forward feeling good about who she is and how she looks. 

Reach out to learn more. 

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