Body Image Tips to Raise Healthy, Confident Daughters

Dr. Robyn Silverman

September is an amazing month for action. You can smell it in the air. Back to work.  Back to school.  Back to…snarky body-bashing comments from “friends,” coworkers, and the girl next door who, as it turns out, isn’t that nice after all.

What are we doing? It’s time to get it together.  If women can’t be nice to each other, who the heck are we all supposed to lean on?  Come on.  Men are…men.  We love them but they don’t understand the plight of women and girls like…well, other women and girls!

I know next month is national Love Your Body Day– in fact, I will be posting an amazing interview with Love Your Body Day event planner, Chenese Lewis this week. But do we really need to wait to love our bodies?  Do we really need to wait to give our friends, colleagues, and family members a compliment, a smile, and a quick “you go girl” to help them feel like they are valuable, worthwhile, and an asset to themselves and society? Yes, I mean despite their weight.  Who cares?  No woman or girl is worth more when they weigh less.  We need to fight back.

Here are some quick tips for parents and yes, other women, to help inspire our girls to hone those assets and reach their potential.  Don’t wait for Love Your Body Day.  Do it now. How about teaching that to your daughter or some other girl today?


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How do you explain real beauty to a girl?

dove self esteem fund

Dr. Robyn Silverman

Article for Dove Self Esteem Fund: Campaign for Real beauty

Joining Dove Self Esteem Embassador, Jessica Weiner and psychologist and author, Ann Kearney Cooke, I was honored to be asked to be the guest editor for the Dove Self Esteem Fund — a campaign that teaches girls how to deal with the media hype about body image as well as the importance of loving “the skin you’re in.” You’ve probably seen their google films, references to self esteem workshops, and website education for girls, moms and anyone else who loves or works with girls.

The Question I was asked to answer: How do you explain real beauty to a girl?

Here is the full article and my bio on Dove

How about some highlights?

When I was 14 years old, there was an enormous billboard in the center of town of a woman in an expensive dress looking down onto traffic through heavily made up eyes. I figured that she was what perfect looked like; unblemished, flawless, and yes, a real beauty. As I look back, I realize I was wrong to think that way…she was digitally modified, primped, preened, puffed up and paired down…what’s can be really beautiful about someone who doesn’t really exist?

We want girls to realize that real beauty is not in the magazines– but rather, in their best friend– their mom– and in themselves. So I included passages such as this one:

Real beauty doesn’t need to be all made up or dressed in fancy clothes. It’s imperfectly perfect. It’s your best friend’s contagious zest for life that you see every time she pretends to pose for “glamour shots” while wearing a fuzzy bathroom and hippo-patterned pajamas. It’s the two of you singing into a hairbrush and dancing to some ridiculous song on the radio– just because it’s fun. Just because you can. Yes, real beauty is in your best friend…

Want to read the rest of the article?

What would you say real beauty is all about? How would you explain it to your daughter, your niece, your student, or other girls you love?

Please comment below– I’d love to hear your take!

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