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"Working with Sarah Maria has helped me to see that I am inherently loveable, beautiful, and valuable, no matter what. She has given me tools and techniques to break free from self-hatred and put love in its place. I am incredibly grateful for her and her incredible program. I recommend this book for anyone who wants to love her body and lover her life."

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Articles: Daughter Beautiful

5 Ways to Show your Daughter she is Beautiful

By Sarah Maria

Does your daughter love her body? Or does she suffer from that nagging sense that she is not quite good enough?

In a culture of stick-thin models, our daughters are embarking on a dangerous path of body dissatisfaction, with dieting, bingeing, and purging. Fortunately, there are things you can do to show her she is beautiful just the way she is.

The Statistics:

The statistics speak for themselves: 80-90% of adult women dislike their bodies. 15% of women say they would sacrifice more than five years of their lives to be thinner, while 24% say they would sacrifice up to three years of their life.

We have passed this pathological dissatisfaction onto our daughters: 81% of 10-year-olds are afraid of being fat, 78% of 18-year-old girls are unhappy with their bodies, and the number one wish of girls 11-17 years old is to lose weight. 51% of 9 and 10 year-old girls feel better about themselves when dieting, and 9% of 9-year-olds have vomited to lose weight.

The fact is that if you are not proactive in affirming your daughter's natural beauty and self-worth, chances are she will be seduced by the cultural lies that tell her she is not quite good enough.

Fortunately, you can show your child she is beautiful just as she is, right now. Here are 5 steps for improving your daughter's body-image:

  • Become an example: When you improve your own body image and eliminate negative body-talk, this will dramatically help your child.
  • Discuss the concept of beauty with your child - teach her to recognize beauty in people of all different shapes, sizes, ages, and ethnicities. Beauty is more than skin deep and is much more diverse then what is shown in fashion magazines. Let them know that the images in magazines aren't real; they have been touched-up and air-brushed.
  • Let your child know that you love her exactly how she is, no matter what. Encourage healthy lifestyle choices, but avoid suggesting that your child should look a specific way or be a certain weight or size
  • Teach your child to be grateful for exactly who she is. If you are religious, you can teach her the following prayer: "Thank you God for making me just the way I am." If you are not religious, you can simply teach her to repeat this phrase to herself, acknowledging all the great characteristics she has, physically, mentally, and emotionally.
  • Encourage mind-body centering activities such as yoga and meditation. Numerous studies show the health benefits of meditation. Learning to meditate will help your daughter reduce her stress and increase her ability to navigate the challenges of adolescent life. Meditation will also help her become conscious of her thoughts: negative thoughts and feelings can have a negative effect on her well-being, whereas positive thoughts and emotions have the power to transform for the better. Teach her that she can make choices about which of her thoughts she is going to listen to, and which she is going to ignore.

For more information on body image, eating disorders, and personal empowerment please visit Sarah Maria's web site at www.breakfreebeauty.com.


[i] Body Wars: Making Peace with Women's Bodies, Margo Maine, PhD, Gurze Books, 2000

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