(MayoClinic.com) Girls often face significant pressure to be physically attractive. The quest for a perfect body can take a heavy toll, though. Find out what you can do to help your daughter develop and maintain a healthy body image.
Maintaining a healthy body image during adolescence is often difficult for girls. Factors that might harm a girl's body image include:
If your daughter doesn't live up to her ideal body image, she might begin to feel inadequate and ashamed of her body — even if she's not overweight. This can increase the risk of mental health concerns, including:
Sometimes a negative body image leads to skipping meals or a cycle of dieting, losing weight and regaining weight — which can further harm self-esteem.
Some research suggests a link between body dissatisfaction among girls and cigarette smoking, possibly because girls believe that smoking will help them control their weight.
Having a negative body image also might affect a girl's comfort with her sexuality as she gets older. A negative body image might lead some girls to consider cosmetic surgery.Talking about body image
Talking about body image with your daughter can help her become comfortable with her body shape and relate to food in a healthy way.
When you discuss body image, you might:
In addition to talking to your daughter about a healthy body image, you might:
Developing and maintaining a healthy body image isn't an easy task for girls. If your daughter is struggling with a negative body image, consider professional counseling. Additional support might give your daughter the tools she needs to counter social pressure and feel good about her body.
|Most Viewed||Most Emailed||Top Searches|
Want to know more about this article or other health related issues? Ask your question and we'll post some each week for CNN.com reader to discuss or for our experts to weight in.