Saturday, February 21, 2009

Self-esteem in young girls

I had a discussion regarding teenager girls and self-esteem with a mother of two teenage daughters. During our discussion, the mother mentioned cosmetic surgery. While, I think it can be great for someone to do something they feel will make themselves feel better, I see that it can greatly effect how their daughter may feel about themselves consequently. Say if you both share the same nose and the mother chooses to have a nose job. How might her daughter feel about her nose when she looks in the mirror?

On the Today Show, they discussed mothers being the #1 role model for a daughter's sense of self and developing body image. So many times we hear people talk about dieting and diets and it is better to talk about being healthy & active. They specifically recommend saying, "I want to be healthy. I want to be active. I want us to feel good about ourselves."

The show featured some alarming statistics.
58% of girls describe themselves in a negative manner
40% of girls see flaws when they look in mirror
4 in 10 girls engage in unhealthy eating habits
25% would consider plastic surgery

Being a mother of a little girl, I know I have to stay conscious of what I say and what I do regarding my body, health and lifestyle choices, especially as she grows older. For me, I felt it necessary for her to know about healthy choices. We talk about giving our bodies energy, feeding our minds, vitamins, minerals, healthy snacks, walking our dogs, and eating a rainbow of colors (very fun for the family to play at dinner time).

As a teenager and young adult, I was too aware of appearance and body size. I would not even run and get a coffee without putting makeup on and body size was more stressed that health. Through the years I have found clarity. While, I think it is important to feel good about oneself, I overtly spend little time on my hair, clothing choice, seldom wear make-up or spend time in the mirror. After seeing those statistics, I feel my job to ensure a positive and healthy self-esteem in my little girl is one of importance.

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