Teens, Moms & Body Image

I am very much aware that by the time girls are 17 years old approximately 80% of them dislike their bodies mostly feeling that they are too large. I am also painfully aware that almost the same percentage of adult women in the U.S. dislike their bodies. Nonetheless, I was particularly concerned this week when I heard a group of 21 teenage girls talk about this out loud. What they told me really made me sad. The girls anonymously completed a form asking how they felt about their bodies and how they think their mothers like their own bodies.

We tallied up the results. Yep, we found that the majority of teen girls felt that they were too heavy and that the majority of the girls felt that their mothers disliked their bodies. Clearly, the girls’ perception of their own bodies is influenced by their mom’s personal feelings. The girls spoke about this with with much detail and with many examples.We need to do something about this. Perhaps we can be careful not to criticize our bodies in front of our daughters.

Even more importantly, can we learn to love our bodies for not only how they look but because of what they allow us to do? Men and teen boys feel much more positively about their bodies. What can we learn from them? Please weigh in with a response. I need your help.