It is hard to believe that I am the mother of a teenager! Yes, my older daughter is 13.
I attended a PTA meeting at her school last week and there was a speaker. One of many topics she discussed were teens and their self image. The speaker quoted several studies and surveys proving that some of the biggest issues for teen girls is their appearance, how they look and they feel pressure to look "perfect".
Being that my daughter is 13 she is not yet obsessed about her appearance, but I see some of her friends borderline becoming so...
Now, being in the cosmetics industry, I found myself sitting there and listening to this speaker and starting to feel almost uncomfortable in my own skin. And what constantly kept going through my mind was HOW do I help my daughter feel and look good (more importantly feel) without becoming too obsessed about her appearance?
The speaker said that coaches found that many girls, who were into sports in their tweens, became less interested in their junior and senior years of high school because these girls became concerned of how they looked playing sports and being sweaty! Really?
It reminded me that even in this age of "GIRL POWER"; with the feminist movement constantly evolving, even with the US Women's Soccer Team winning the World Cup that this is still a concern of many teenage girls.
Let's face it, society has taught us to "judge" each other on how we look. There... I said it. It's "out there" and its true. Now what do we do about it?
In my mind I find myself grappling with HOW do we teach/mold/inspire teen and tween girls to walk the fine line of developing and building self-esteem without becoming obsessed about their appearance? How do we teach them that their own strength as a person is beautiful... That being compassionate is beautiful... That simply being happy with who you are and comfortable in your own skin is beautiful.
There is a saying when you look good, you feel good. Sometimes this is true and some times not. I think it is important that we find a balance in this message for our daughters.
What do you think?