photo: Girl Scouts via Twitter
You may not know it, but the Girls Scouts’ site has lots of great resources for raising girls. If you’re not sure how to talk to your daughter about body image, their guide “Yes, Your Daughter Just Called Herself Fat,” is there to help.
Written by a developmental psychologist, it includes steps for responding to your child calling themselves fat, including:
How Prevalent Fat-Shaming Is in Our Culture
Eighty percent of 10-year-olds are afraid of being fat because they’re constantly surrounded by messages that curvier or heavier girls aren’t as successful or happy.
Why the Response “You’re Not Fat. You’re Beautiful!” Isn’t Helpful
Girls will have a healthier relationship with their bodies if they understand that there are endless ways to be beautiful, including all sorts of variations on the human body.
Don’t Assume You Know Where She’s Coming From
Ask your daughter why she thinks she’s fat. Maybe her clothes aren’t feeling comfortable or she’s seeing how her body is different from her classmates’, but those differences are still OK. Getting to the root of what’s causing body image issues is important.
Set a Good Example
Your daughter hears it when you call yourself fat, so take time to remind yourself you don’t have to live up to unrealistic beauty standards, either.
Pay Attention to the Media She’s Consuming and Make Sure She’s Seeing a Variety of Body Types Being Celebrated
Counter the body shaming of TV, movies and advertising. Expose girls to accomplished women of all shapes and sizes through examples like the upcoming children’s book “Glitter Stripes,” Hulu’s My Mad Fat Diary, and Melissa McCarthy in Ghostbusters.
Have you talked to your child about body image? Tell us in the comments below.