If you worry that your daughter is lacking body confidence but are unsure on how to tackle the issue without feeling too intrusive, help is at hand.

Parenting on Female First

Parenting on Female First

Dove Self-Esteem has teamed up with renowned psychoanalyst, Susie Orbach, to create a booklet for mums to help them foster body confidence in their daughters.

‘Talk to Her,’ is an advice booklet that has been created since new research has shown that 47% of young girls are missing out on everyday activities because they don’t like how they look.

Research carried out by Dove revealed that 40% of British women believe their mothers have a strong influence on their definition of beauty. 37% of young women look to celebrities while 36% of women consider models as the definitive image of beauty.

The booklet is packed full of advice, guidance and tips on how to talk to young girls about body image.

Dr Orbach hosted a Dove self-esteem workshop as part of the series of Dove real beauty debates. The workshop discussed how mothers can broach body confidence issues with their children and help them develop a better relationship with their bodies.

Dr Orbach says: “Mothers are a big influence on daughters and we can affect them positively. The more we can accept our own bodies, the more natural it will feel to them to accept theirs. We know how important beauty and being a particular size has become and how it can be a struggle for many of us. Keeping our own battles with weight and poor body image away from our daughters is important. We don’t want them thinking that being female means constant fretting.”

Some tips and advice within the ‘Talk to Her’ booklet include:

  1. Tell your daughter the ways in which you value her and the things you feel proud about in her. Be specific. She might say that those things don’t count and that all she cares about is her looks but she will also be listening and it can penetrate.
  2. Make it a habit to talk about people’s attributes apart from their looks. It identifies different values than those in the media and they need reinforcing when all around her there is such peer pressure to conform to certain looks
  3. Don’t drop casual negative comments about your own body into your conversations. In fact, see if you can go one step further and say positive things about your body and what it can do and the ways in which it makes you feel happy. If you go to the gym or do sports, pass a remark about how much energy it gives you
  4. Try laughing with her about how amazing it is that so many people’s energy – stylists, hairdressers, make-up artists, photographers, lighting technicians, dressmakers and fashion designers - goes into creating that look and how maintaining the look is a full time job
  5. You don’t need to have an answer for everything or to dispute what she says she feels about herself, even if you find it hard if she makes negative comments about herself. You can just listen and say things like “that’s hard” and then maybe sometime later you can let her see you looking at her with a smile and say… “I hope soon you’ll be able to see how lovely you are.

Dove set up the Dove Self-Esteem Project to encourage all women and girls to develop a positive relationship with beauty, helping to raise their self-esteem and thereby enabling them to realise their full potential. The Dove Self-Esteem Project works with experts such as psychotherapist Susie Orbach and Philippa Diedrichs (Centre of Appearance, University of West of England) to create materials and resources that help raise self-esteem among young people, with the aim being for girls to see their beauty as a source of confidence, not anxiety. A key part of the work of the Dove Self-Esteem Project is working with mums and mentors, as well as conducting workshop in schools.

by for www.femalefirst.co.uk