If you could help your daughter be more successful in life by changing just one thing, would you do it? If you nodded yes, then you’ll want to stop everything and immediately watch the TED Talk below to learn more about the one dangerous habit that can have a major impact on a girl’s life. Keep reading to learn more.
No, it’s not sex, drugs, or even good old rock and roll. It’s something much more seemingly innocuous: worrying about your appearance. Every woman is guilty of fretting over her looks at least occasionally, but according to self-esteem expert Meaghan Ramsey, it can have some serious consequences. In the video below of Ramsey’s TED Talk, she lists some scary stats as examples, like 60 percent of girls choose not to participate in activities because they feel their looks don’t measure up and 20 percent skip school if they are feeling unattractive. Let that sink in for a moment.
Girls with low self-esteem are less likely to eat well or get enough exercise. They are also more likely to develop an eating disorder and suffer from depression, Ramsey explains. So what can parents do to help? Building self-esteem can be a tricky feat, even as an adult, so helping young girls gain confidence is definitely no easy task. Luckily, Ramsey does offer some real, actionable advice.
The first step is opening up a dialogue. Not only should you talk to your daughter about her body image, but you should make sure she has positive interactions with friends, family members, and other people she looks up to, about it. It’s also important to talk about how bodies are portrayed in the media and make sure she understands the unrealistic images. In other words, those flawless looks are more of a fairytale than your bedtime stories.
Learning how to handle bullying and competitive behavior over looks is also vital. As is avoiding fat talk. Last, but not least girls need to learn to love their own bodies and appreciate themselves for who they are. A tall order in today’s world for sure, but not impossible. The best way, Ramsey explains, is by setting a good example with your own eating and health habits and taking some time to love and respect yourself.
Does this make you nervous? Tell us how you’re handling it in the comments.