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Five Things Not to Say to Your Daughter About Your Own Weight and Looks...And What to Say Instead. How to Speak to Your Daughter About Your Own Body

There are topics we are used to hearing about on media, social media, in conversation with friends, and at work. Negative talk about our own bodies is one of these topics. We may be used to hearing others speak negatively about their bodies, and we are trained to notice our own imperfections compared to society's ideals. While we can't change society and how society speaks, we can change what we ourselves speak about. With that, we can impact our families--our own little part of society.

Our daughters are particularly vulnerable to measuring themselves up to society's standards. With intention on how we as parents speak to our daughters about our own bodies, we can impart healthier and more thoughtful values. Here are some things not to say to your daughter about your own body.

mother and daughter talking

How to Speak to Your Daughter About Your Own Body

  • Don't criticize your own looks in front of your daughter. Best is to say something positive about your own looks. If you can't muster that, don't say anything.

  • Don't say that certain colors or styles make you look fat. If you'd like, you can say what your preferred colors and styles are, and emphasize that you like how you look in those colors or style.

  • Don't say that the reason you like an outfit is because you look thin in it. This gives over an unhealthy ideal of thinness. You can say you like the outfit because you look pretty in it.

  • Don't tell your daughter that your own body changes are ugly. You can discuss that body changes with puberty, pregnancy, and age are normal. You can talk about how it can be difficult to adjust to these and other changes.

  • Don't relay stories about how thin you used to be. Instead, when it naturally comes up in conversation, tell her, and normalize, that many women gain weight as they have children and as they get older.

As parents, we can give our daughters values. How we speak about our own bodies can impart body values to our daughters.

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