A friend shared a short clip from Dove's Campaign for Real Beauty called "evolution." In it, we see the major physical transformation of a young model on a time-lapsed video. Although the entire clip is just over a minute, the girl clearly endured hours of primping to go from an average teenager to a glamorous, statuesque model worthy of a billboard. With these type of unrealistic images in the media, how can you boost your daughter's self esteem?
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When young girls put credence in the world's opinion, chances are, their self-esteem will plummet. You can empower them by encouraging their individual interests and recognizing when they excel. Having a hobby or creative outlet helps build confidence and allows young minds to flourish in an environment in which they feel safe and comfortable.
The tendency to want to "fit in" can also make a young girl feel inadequate when she doesn't measure up. Clearly communicate that "fitting in" isn't as important as creating and pursuing her own definition of happiness.
Use your own experiences to drive this point home. Be honest and open about your childhood and teenaged years so that your daughter doesn't feel alienated by the pressure she feels to conform.
Just as the Dove video shows, the end result of a long billboard photo session does not in any way resemble reality. It's important that young girls know the facts about the modeling and media industries. The world is presenting a one-sided story.
Be the voice of realism by uncovering the truth behind the images they see. All models are not perfect. Most walk onto the set looking like your neighbor, best friend or teacher. We don't have the power to erase our flaws and create or eliminate curves, but we do have the power to embrace every inch of the body we have.
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