I remember the first time I heard about plastic surgery. One of my friends told me she was thinking about getting a nose job. We were only 14. She told me that because her nose was large, nobody would like kissing her.
Looking back on that experience, I realized my friend was simply reflecting on what her parents talked about at home.
The world is becoming more and more critical of woman. Girls are starting to feel the pressure at younger and younger ages.
Here are five ways you're putting pressure on your daughter without realizing it:
1. Criticizing yourself
We all want to be a size skinner, we wish our hair was curlier or our teeth were straighter. Saying this in front of our daughters can really hurt them. They learn to be insecure, especially when those closest to them are constantly criticizing their own looks.
When you criticize yourself, you teach your daughter it's OK to do the same.
2. Irregular schedules
People thrive on schedules. If you teach your daughter to follow a schedule, you will teach her how to be diligent and persistent. You will teach her that she can be in charge of her own life; that she can pick and accomplish goals when she sticks to a schedule of her own, whether it's a practice schedule, homework schedule or even a sleeping schedule.
We are all guilty of gossiping. Sometimes it seems so innocent to talk about what he said to her and what she said to him. Even though gossiping is fun, it does not make it right. As you tear others down with your words, you are teaching your daughter that comparison is good and that some types of people, clothes and food make you better than others.
This attitude often leads to bullying and snobbish behavior. You can easily avoid these problems by not gossiping.
4. Netflix binging
I know this one is probably the hardest one. We all have our favorite TV shows, our guilty pleasures and those family-friendly shows that aren't too bad. Unfortunately, in almost every TV show or film, women are being objectified. Sex sells. Negative body image can stem from watching shows that objectify women, even if the moral of the storyline is good.
Protect your daughter and build her confidence by watching TV shows and films that uplift and respect women.
We all get bored, we all hate waiting in lines and it's so easy to pull out your phone and scroll through the newest on our feed. That's where it starts, and then the next thing we know, we're checking our feed more and more often. The problem is the more you are on your phone, the less present you are in your daughter's life. What are you teaching her when you are not present? You are teaching her that what others have to say is more important than she is.
Instead, teach her that she is important to you. Show her you care about what she has to say by putting aside all distractions and giving her your full attention.
These are simple things that you can start changing today. Doing this will not only change her, but it will also change you for the better.
Christa is a part time photographer, part time writer and full time lover of life. She loves eating chocolate chip cookies and singing (but not at the same time). She has her degree in political science.