My girls are amazing and I am not just saying that as their mom, they just are. I tell them all the time how amazing they are and I have shared how I think it is super important to tell my daughters they are beautiful every day, but there is more that needs to be done to build them up. Negative body image is a real issue in our society and it starts now at a young age, every child is different but I have seen the foundation for poor body image start in elementary school. In fact I almost let it happen to one of my girls and I am so grateful I saw it and stopped it now.
As a society we have decided that liking fashion and clothing is vain and can label caring about what you look like as a negative thing. I have watched many moms pass that attitude on by refusing to help their daughters learn to dress their body or fix hair or properly apply makeup. This leads to teens and adults who have no idea how to feel good in an outfit and that can affect so much more than you think. A positive body image can translate into self respect and carrying yourself with pride. It can help you to value yourself more and that matters! I want my girls to value themselves and carry themselves with pride into any situation they encounter.
My two oldest girls are built totally different and should not be wearing the same clothes yet until this past fall it was all hand me downs for girl number two. I noticed she was always fidgeting with her clothes and wore a very select few items from a closet full of nice clothes. She is a very happy girl and she is tall, suddenly she was walking into a room shoulders slumped and head down. And it dawned on me…. her clothes did not fit. I mean they physically “fit” but they did not fit her body type well and she felt uncomfortable all the time. It wasn’t something she verbally expressed as much as her body language was screaming I am uncomfortable!! Once I realized what was going on I felt so bad. I knew she was built totally different than her sister and yet I was giving her clothes for her sisters body type. Yes we are on a budget and I try to hand down my girls stuff but not at the cost of a healthy body image.
I knew now was the time to set her up for a positive body image and that if we let this go one we risked her developing a sense of discomfort with her body type. I went online to PS. Aero (love that brand for tweens) and ordered her a bunch of clothes that were more flattering and comfortable for her body type. When they arrived we sat and had a long talk about feeling comfortable in our own skin and our clothes. She wants everyone to be happy so it can be hard to shop for her because she will say she likes everything just to be sweet. I told her I wanted the real truth, I wanted her to LOVE her clothes and feel amazing in them.
The first top she put on was so flattering on her, but the better part was the huge smile on her face when she walked out of her room wearing it. Her shoulders were up and she was walking tall and shining. It just confirmed everything I knew was going on. From then on she has been more assertive in her clothing choices and I am so proud of her. What you wear is your message to the world about who you are, it’s a clue that you send about yourself and she has finally realized that. No more fidgeting with ill fitting pants and awkward shirts. She now dresses with confidence and I am so proud of her!