Helping Your Daughter With Body Image Issues
Body image is a subset of self-esteem that may be characterized as one’s ideas, feelings, and attitudes toward their physical appearance. It should not be confused with self-esteem. Body image refers to how a person perceives herself when she looks in the mirror, as opposed to how she sees herself as a whole.
Your thoughts, feelings, and behaviors regarding your body make up your body image. It also contains the image of your body that you have in your head, which may or may not correspond to the size and shape of your real body. Feeling content and pleased with your body, as well as at ease and accepting of your appearance, are all signs of having a good or healthy body image.
Feeling dissatisfied with your appearance is a sign of a poor or unhealtphy body image. If this is how they feel, they might desire to alter their size or form. It’s possible for your body image to shift over time.
A positive body image is crucial. You’re more likely to have strong self-esteem, mental health, a balanced approach to food, and a commitment to physical exercise if you feel good about your physique.
At Evangelhouse, we help girls from across the US and internationally with body image issues. We’ve seen body image issues increase over the years due in part to the rise of social media which often results in a skewed perspective of one’s body.
A skewed perspective or impression of one’s body or form is a component of negative body image, which can result in emotions such as shame, anxiety, guilt, and self-consciousness. When a girl has a negative body image, she may believe that her appearance is faulty in contrast to others and that her physical worth determines how valuable she is as a person. Teens who have poor body image are more prone to experience depression, social isolation, and eating disorders, among other illnesses.
A variety of elements, including the home environment, peer attitudes, social media, cultural background, and puberty, have an influence on your child’s development of body image. If you are concerned that your teen may be experiencing negative body image issues, warning signs to watch out for include criticizing her appearance, constantly comparing her appearance to others, avoiding social situations, avoiding new activities due to her appearance, obsessing over losing weight or focusing on specific body parts, spending too much time in front of the mirror, and expressing a connection between eating and guilt.
Depression is frequently a problem for girls who struggle with negative body image. An examination of teenage girls between the ages of 14 and 18 revealed that those who were unhappy with their weight or body image had a much higher likelihood of exhibiting moderate to severe depression symptoms than those who were content with their appearance. The emergence of an eating disorder is a related problem connected to negative body image. Additionally, adolescent girls are more likely to be diagnosed with anorexia nervosa or bulimia nervosa if their body form and weight have a disproportionately large impact on them.
What Can Parents Do To Help?
The development of a teen girl’s self-esteem and body image may be greatly influenced by parents. To help your daughter feel more confident, consider any of these suggestions:
1 . Direct praise away from looks: Parents should be careful to complement their teen girls’ personalities and accomplishments rather than their outward appearance.
2. Find her strengths – Assist your daughter in identifying her hobbies and abilities that go beyond looks. Encourage her to participate in activities that can enhance and develop her talents if she has a talent for art or sports.
3. Praise effort over results – Failure is a necessary part of life and offers many opportunities for learning, so emphasis on praising your daughter for the effort she puts out while learning new things. Gaining the ability to accept failure might help one become more resilient and self-assured.
4. Parents have a significant influence on their daughters’ development of a positive body image. Avoid asking her questions like, “Do these jeans make me seem fat? “or evaluating food on a positive or negative basis. This includes refraining from disparaging other women in front of your daughter since even teasing one another about food or appearance can set up negative tendencies.
5. Make it plain to your daughter that your love is unconditional and that it is based on the amazing person she is on the inside, not on how she may change in appearance. Teenagers still value their parents’ approval and affection even if they rely greatly on input from their friends.
Evangelhouse can assist your daughter with overcoming low self-esteem or a negative body image so that she can build confidence. If you are considering a residential treatment option, please give us a call today at (800) 924-4012.