Magazine article Work & Family Life

Impact of Media on Girls' Self-Esteem

Magazine article Work & Family Life

Impact of Media on Girls' Self-Esteem

Article excerpt

QIn your excellent front-page article on raising girls (March 2012), you didn't talk about the impact of the media on girls' body image and self-esteem. If you look at any fashion magazine or music video, you'll see that expectations for a girl's appearance are wildly unrealistic. And when girls compare themselves to celebrities, they feel like they don't measure up. Their self-confidence is shaken and they become obsessed with changing the way they look.

-E.P., Bloomfield Hills, MI

A You make an important point. Parents and other adults can help girls understand that movie stars and models have teams of people making them look perfect.

Here are some more tips from Common Sense Media:

Watch what you say. When you talk about dieting or criticize your own body, your daughter is listening. You are her role model.

Share your own insecurities and how you dealt with them. Let kids know that you understand.

Keep girls active. Get them involved in sports and healthy lifestyles. Stress health, not weight.

Help girls value themselves in broader ways. Compliment talents like creativity and thoughtfulness. Point out and comment positively on girls with different body types.

Keep an eye on social networks, texts and other online comments. Our kids live in a constant feedback loop, and many of them take advantage of their anonymity and online distance to insult each other's weight and appearance. …

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