The first step for doing this is through self talk. We need to talk positively about our bodies in front of young girls. Show them our lumps and bumps and let’s them know that’s normal, each stretch mark has a story… our bodies are amazing and allow us to achieve amazing things...one of the most amazing being that fact we can create life. We need to remember that our behaviour and relationship with our own bodies has a huge impact on our girls who look up to us.
2. Diet and exercise
It is important to lead by example and teach young girls that diet and exercise plays an important role in self love. Not for the aesthetics but how it makes us feel from the inside. Nourishing our bodies with nutrient filled foods that give the body everything it needs. Diet and exercise shouldn’t be about calorie counting and the scales. With a healthy diet you will be able to give your body exactly what it needs with out worrying. Exercise shouldn’t be a chore… exercise can be a way of socialising, but the main reason to exercise should be for the feel good factor, the endorphin rush. Not to loose weight. Not because we want to burn of calories. We really need to start looking at diet and exercise as a feel good factor and a healthy way of life instead of weight control and aesthetics.
3. Subliminal messages
We need to be aware of what is conditioning our young girls minds. Social media, music, TV, advertising. Who they are following and listening too is now on their phones and it’s constant the images they see of what is considered beautiful, relevant and successful. Much of this is false, airbrushed and filtered. We need to have open conversations with our girls about why they follow or listen to certain influencers and musicians. Talking about the subliminal messages in lyrics and certain ad campaigns will open up their eyes and help them recognise if what/who they are following are having a positive or negative effect on them. It’s important we help them recognise this themselves so they can make their own choices and be aware of what is conditioning them.
4. Taking a compliment
We need to teach our girls to accept compliments. So many of us struggle with this. But instead of getting embarrassed or deflecting a compliment we need to simply just say thank you. But we also need to remember that compliment. It’s so easy to remember negative comments about ourselves we really need. To hold onto those compliments and remember them when we are feeling low. We also need to encourage our girls to see the good and the beautiful in others and tell them. Compliments don’t have to just be about looks. Beauty isn’t limited to our appearance so let’s teach our girls to see the good in themselves and others and share the shit out of it.