According to the NYC Girl’s Project, as early as middle school 40 to 70 percent of girls and assigned female at birth dislike at least two parts of their bodies. Girls’ self-esteems take a nosedive at 12-years-old and don’t recover until they reach 20. This raises some serious questions about how our society addresses teen body image. Having a negative body image can take girls and assigned female at birth down a dangerous path, making it imperative that parents and their children know how to create a positive teen body image.
Effects of a negative teen body image
The teenage years are full of physical and emotional change, making it an already difficult time to be comfortable in your own skin. Then you pile on how the media, your peers, and society tell you to look and it becomes even more difficult.
According to Mayo Clinic, a negative body image can make a girl or child assigned female at birth feel inadequate as a person. Obsession with body image and looking a certain way can become unhealthy. All of these increase the risk of developing an eating disorder, depression, or low self-esteem.
Tips to create a positive body image
Being a teenager can be confusing without guidance, that’s why it’s important for parents to step up and help lead their children towards a positive teen body image. A few tips from the US Department of Health and Human Services on how to encourage a healthy body image include:
- Help their understand puberty: It’s strange to not know what’s going on inside your body, it can even become scary. Clarifying that puberty is a time of immense change, including weight fluctuation, can really help your child understand what she’s going through.
- Compliment her: Recognizing when your child did well through their efforts, talents, or personal values is important in boosting positive self-esteem.
- Talk to her: Make sure your child knows you’re there if they have any questions or issues, just voicing your support can be a huge help.
- Practice positive body image yourself: If your child sees that you don’t practice what you preach, it undermines the value of the message. Make sure you’re avoiding negative statements about size, weight, or food.
Solstice RTC can help
Solstice RTC is a residential treatment center for struggling teen girls. We help lead girls and assigned female at birth through difficult issues, such as trauma, negative teen body image, depression, and many more. We help families heal.
For more information about how Solstice RTC can help your daughter, call us today at (801)815-8700.