Re: How to Encourage Positive Body Image and Self Esteem?
Honestly, I think the best way to teach good self esteem and body image is to have good self esteem and body image yourself. Your girls will take their cues from you most likely.
Growing up, I don't remember my Mom every complaining about her looks or about herself. She rarely wore make up, dressed how she was comfortable, etc. As a result, I never questioned my looks, my clothes, my body, etc. My Mom never commented good or bad about my image - I was who I was.
I try to do the same with my girls. I exercise but when questioned, I do it to be healthy. While I am trying to lose some weight right now, I never tell my kids I am trying to lose weight. I just tell them I want to be as healthy as I can. I try to never talk down about myself, my clothes, my appearance. I want them to see I'm just fine the way I am (a fact I do believe). It is my hope that they will mimic my attitude.
Now, this method isn't perfect. This doesn't take different personailities into effect or the influence of friends. But it is a good start and I'll do more as needed. So far dd1 is a lot like me and is fine with who/what she is.
Dd1 likes to curl her hair sometimes but we don't do it to look better - we do it just for fun. I'd stop and talk to her if I thought she was equating good body image with what we do for fun. We don't curl her hair for special occations either - we are more likely to do it just because. If anything, I try hard to have her look like her normal every day self for pictures and stuff like that.