Instead of giving her fashion mags that perpetuate unreachable body ideals,
stock your daughter's library with titles that promote a healthy body image and positive self-esteem.
A Smart Girl's Guide to Liking Herself — Even On the Bad Days (Amazon, $8) from the American Girl library contains "the secrets to trusting yourself, being your best and never letting the bad days bring you down." Positive self-esteem can help our daughters get through even the darkest of days. A Smart Girl's Guide to Liking Herself is packed full of tips to help girls feel their best in any situation. Each of us is perfect just as we are!
For more than 20 years, psychotherapist Jill Zimmerman Rutledge has been helping girls get through tough situations. In Dealing with the Stuff that Makes Life Tough: The 10 Things that Stress Girls Out and How to Cope with Them (Amazon, $13), Rutledge provides the stress-busting tools every young woman needs to face the challenges of teen life. Your daughter will be amazed to discover that she's held that power all along.
Whose job is it to decide what beauty is? Author Audrey Brashich gives readers an eye-opening look at pop culture's impact on a girl's self-image in All Made Up: A Girl's Guide to Seeing Through Celebrity Hype to Celebrate Real Beauty (Amazon, $9). Brashich wants readers to stop comparing themselves with the media's definition of beauty and instead focus on liking what they see in the mirror.
The Self-Esteem Workbook for Teens: Activities to Help You Build Confidence and Achieve Your Goals (Amazon, $12) guides girls on the path to self-respect and positive self-esteem. Author Lisa Schab will help your daughter do an honest self-assessment of strengths and weaknesses as she works to develop quiet confidence and inner acceptance.
I'm too fat. I don't like the way I look. I wish I looked like her. Why are girls so good at putting themselves down? Picture Perfect: What You Need to Feel Better About Your Body (Amazon, $13) introduces readers to other girls who struggled with self-esteem and found great solutions to help them cope.
Instead of wasting money on glam mags, young women should read The Looks Book: A Whole New Approach to Beauty, Body Image, and Style. Written by Esther Drill, Heather McDonald and Rebecca Odes, The Looks Book (Amazon, $9) explores "the history, culture, science and business of beauty." Real-life examples inspire girls to emphasize "self-expression, self-invention and a healthy irreverence toward traditional ideals."
Trendy makeup, hairstyles and fashions are never enough to battle cliques. Even the most secure young woman can be shaken by the gossip, rumors and exclusivity that mean girls dish out. Author Susan Sprague's Coping with Cliques: A Workbook to Help Girls Deal with Gossip, Put-Downs, Bullying, and Other Mean Behavior (Amazon, $15) offers excellent strategies to help girls stick up for themselves and maintain self-esteem in the face of nasty girl-on-girl crime.
Differences are celebrated in What I Like About Me! (Amazon, $6). Whether your child wears braces or eyeglasses, she will learn that she is exactly who she's meant to be. Award-winning author Allia Zobel-Nolan even added a shiny mirror to the last page so your daughter can take a good look at all of her wonderful features!
You-ness is something "Quite hard to describe,/it's your style of being, your rhythm or vibe./It's the grand sum of you that sets you apart./Your body and brains plus your spirit and heart." Your young child will love this celebration of our diversity in Hooray for You! A Celebration of You-ness (Amazon, $1) from author and illustrator Marianne Richmond.
Note: Find over 1,500 more girl-empowering books at the A Mighty Girl website.
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