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Confident Girls, Our Girls, Raising Confident Daughters, Raising Daughters, Uncategorized

August 19, 2020

WHY WE NEED TO REDEFINE BEAUTY FOR OUR GIRLS

And not stop until we know they hear us!

“You are absolutely beautiful,” I told her as we walked along the beach picking up all the cool shells.  But we weren’t talking about her hair or her outfit or her ridiculously thick eyelashes that she inherited from her dad. This was beauty on a whole new level.

WE NEED TO REDEFINE BEAUTY FOR YOUNG GIRLS.  There’s a reason young girls take an early dive into the comparison trap – because girls are inundated with messaging that beauty is about looking a certain way or wearing certain clothes, about haves and have nots. 

The Bad News

In a global report on Girls and Beauty Confidence, it was found that over half of girls around the world are lacking high body esteem. Are you surprised?

The study interviewed over 5000 girls aged 10-17 across 14 countries and found that higher levels of body esteem have a lasting impact on a girl’s confidence, resilience and life satisfaction. Great news, right? But, the findings also show that a girl with low body esteem is more likely to fall prey to beauty and appearance pressures and will withdraw from social activities like seeing friends and family, trying out for a new team or joining a club. Amazing opportunities are being missed all because girls aren’t happy with the way they look!

It’s also clear that an early linkage is formed between social pressures, confidence and leadership – the study found that when young girls don’t feel confident about their appearance, 7 in 10 will not be assertive in their opinion or stand firm in their decision-making.

This is a slippery slope that needs to be stopped in its tracks.

The Good News

In response to these findings, Phillippa Diedrichs, Associate Professor from the Centre for Appearance Research, University of the West of England stated: “We still have an enormous amount of work to do in helping girls develop the resilience they need to overcome the impact of beauty and appearance pressures. We also need to change the social and cultural environment so that girls are not judged on their looks, and are not held back from getting a seat at whatever table they want – be it in the boardroom or in parliament – because of body image concerns.” Can I get an AMEN?!

This is REALLY good. In other words, we need to:

1) build confidence and resilience so our girls can overcome the maze of social pressures they will face; and

2) change the social environment and cultural expectations so our girls are not held back from getting a seat at WHATEVER TABLE THEY WANT!!

Thankfully we aren’t starting from ground zero! Our girls are smart!! They’re already recognizing that there is too great an emphasis placed on looks, with 70% of them agreeing that too much importance is placed on beauty as a source of happiness and over 80% think that EVERY girl has something about them that is beautiful.

So where do we start?

We don’t need more proof to know that work needs to be done. This is such an ideal time. YOU can REDEFINE beauty for her while she is young because it is so much more.  You can build her confidence and self-esteem, teach her that she IS beautiful, just as she is. This isn’t set in stone. You can CHANGE the messaging.

“Do you want to know why?” I asked her as we kept walking. She looked at me curiously. “Being beautiful isn’t about looking a certain way or wearing certain clothes. It’s not about the color of your hair or whether it’s curly or straight. You don’t have to look a certain way or be just like everyone else. There are so many more things that make a person beautiful.” She listened, interested, as I told her some of the things I want her to know without a doubt about beauty.

5 things about her that she needs to know are beautiful:

  • Being you – goofiness, talents, your laugh, curly hair, freckles, any & all of it. Don’t change your unique self to fit a mold.
  • Kindness – always. It’s like spreading sunshine over others. Even in small doses it can change someone’s day.
  • Connection – lift others up, support them, cheer them on. Don’t compete, connect.
  • Confidence – be proud of who you are and what you stand for. Know that these are your strengths.
  • Happiness – nothing is more beautiful than your smile.

You can CHANGE the messaging…and don’t stop until you know she hears you!

– Alison Sherley

The bucket of rewarding motherhood moments is deep – we’re gifted with new things to drop into it every single day.  Imagine if you added the feeling of knowing your girls embrace ‘being beautiful’ in a whole new way – one that builds them up inside and creates resilience to girlhood pressures.
 

It’s possible – be persistent and don’t stop until you know she hears you!

What do you want to teach your girls about ‘beauty?’  Send me a note and let’s start a conversation! 

**Grab some free resources for building mindset and confidence in your girls! And don’t forget to join me on Instagram and Facebook to follow along on this journey to simplify girlhood and build confidence so our girls can live a girlhood free from anxiety, self-doubt and overwhelm!

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