Posts tagged building self-esteem in girls

The Healthy Media for Youth Act


According to

  • More than half of girls (55 percent) admit they diet to lose weight
  • 42 percent of girls know someone their age who forced themselves to throw up after eating
  • 37 percent know someone who has been diagnosed with an eating disorder
  • 31 percent admit to starving themselves or refusing to eat as a strategy to lose weight.

According to the Girls Inc, even young girls, 3rd through 5th grade, worry about their appearance (54 percent), and specifically their weight (37 percent).

The American Psychological Association’s Report on the Sexualization of Girls (2007) found that three of the most common (more…)

Seeing Isn’t Believing: Helping Young Girls De-Bunk Media Myths


Check out this great video for sharing with daughters and talking about beauty pressures.  As adults, we know that seeing isn’t necessarily believing, but it’s amazing (read: sad) how much kids buy in to what they see in the media.



The Breathtaking Cruelty of Formspring: What Every Parent Should Know


Read below for bestselling author Rachel Simmons’ (Odd Girl Out, Odd Girl Speaks Out, The Curse of the Good Girl) perspective and very helpful suggestions for talking to young girls about the “breathtakingly cruel” website Formspring:

Formspring: Enabling the Cruelest Form of Bullying with the Greatest of Ease.


Having just read the post below, I am still speechless…which is fine because this Mama said it all so well:

I adore her apt description: Formspring is the present-day version of the bathroom stall on steroids, enabling the cruelest form of bullying with the greatest of ease.

Are you aware of the website Formspring?  As the mother of 8 and 5-year old girls, I was not…yet…but am so glad to know about it early so that I can do a little early intervention and hopefully prevention.

You know, it’s crazy–I feel like me, and so many other parents and professionals out there, are putting their hearts and souls into helping girls cope with bullying–then a site like this comes along and makes money hand over first with no purpose or objective other than to wreck young girls.   Where is the conscience?




Beauty Pressure: Innoculating our Kids



The article I posted below reminded me of this film clip from the Dove Campaign for Real Beauty. I suggest this clip to parents and professionals in my Friendship & Other Weapons curriculum, as a way of teaching young girls about the impact of media messages–sort of an innoculation measure, with the idea that when girls are aware of the media’s intentions, they are better able to resist its negative influences.

I would love to hear your reactions to the video and feedback on how you talk with your kids about media messages and beauty pressure.

Teaching Our Daughters to Love Their Bodies


I love this post about Teaching Our Daughters to Love Their Bodies, by Andrea Owen.  “I know I can’t shelter my daughter from seeing and sometimes believing that she needs to be prettier, thinner, firmer, sexier, smoother, younger-looking, etc. But, I can sure as hell tell her from my own mouth that her body is the most perfect thing created, just as it is. That it was meant for kicking ass…”


This is a key lesson in the Friendship & Other Weapons curriculum as well; part of fortifying girls against the pressures of bullying has to do with teaching them to be proud of who they are and the bodies they live in, rather than becoming overwhelmed and swept away by media messages to the contrary.

Operation Beautiful: Ending Negative Self-Talk, One Post-It Note at a Time


This article was originally posted on Mom It Forward on 6/6/11:

Are you ever your own worst enemy? Does the little voice inside your head ever say cruel, demeaning things like, “You’re fat,” or “You’ll never be good enough?” After a heart-to-heart with yourself, are you left feeling discouraged and demeaned?

Caitlin Boyle, founder of, was tired of fighting with (and losing to) her inner voice. One day—a particularly bad day—she rebelled. She wrote the words, “You are Beautiful” on a post-it note and stuck it to a public bathroom mirror. And, as they say, the rest was history. (more…)

Does Your Child Feel like an Outsider?


Celebrities and spokespeople nationwide have been promoting the message to young people that despite the challenges and struggles of fitting in during the tween and teen (and don’t forget elementary school!) years, thing DO get better. Here’s a positive video clip from Alexandra Robbins, featuring the message that being different is awesome!


Seven Going on Seventeen: What Parents Can Do About Sexualized Media Messages for Girls


“In each case, girls are being presented with an extremely narrow definition of femininity – one that is largely focused on how they are seen by others.”

Check out this great article that includes helpful guidelines for parents about talking with their daughters about media messages.  I (more…)

For Kids (of All Ages) Everywhere


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