My daughter is very thin and sees even slight lumps of skin as huge rolls of fat. How do we help her see how beautiful she is?

Inherent in this question lies the true issue. It’s not about how beautiful she is. In a society driven by marketed beauty splashed across every magazine cover, the desire to be ‘beautiful’ is the downfall of many. The current marketing definitions of beauty can often be hilarious. Simply look through the ages at what has been ‘beautiful’ over the last century. From voluptuous rolls indicating wealth, to ‘Twiggy’ with her oversized lashes and boyish frame and now the ‘size zero’ phenomenon that is extremely scary for any parent. Magazines and shows such as extreme makeover constantly tell us that being beautiful makes us loveable. Unfortunately, this makes the norm un-beautiful and therefore un-lovable.

Help your daughter to see that she is a human being not an object. She must have a purpose beyond her looks, or like so many people on this planet, she will have nothing to live for. When there is nothing to strive for, nothing to look up to it is very easy to question why it is all worth it, or to become self obsessed. While many of today’s parents were brought up with some religious affiliation, much of the next generation believes only in the dollar. If you want your child to have a healthy outcome, introduce her to a healthy involvement within her community. Connect with your children and know what it is that you believe in. Young girls will often have an image of what their body should look like. How thin they should be; where they should have tattoos or piercings and whether doing all of that makes them cool, funky or acceptable. Most often, this image is based on airbrushed images of celebrity icons. Magazines are plastered with pictures of Victoria Beckham, Brittney Spears, Lindsay Lohan, Nicole Ritchie and Paris Hilton. While all of these girls all make a lot of money, and are famous and popular and “have everything they could want” they all have more than their fare share of issues. Is that really the life you want for your child? Is how they dress liberating? Showing a G-string, wearing a little top with her bust popping out? Is that what we want our women to be? Is that what we want our daughters to become? If these are not the models that we want then we need to talk to them. It starts by coming to a point of responsibility. We need to talk to them like adults, and just have an honest heart to heart. It is not about controlling them or telling them what to do, but to give them choices, and help them realize the consequences of their decisions. Then hopefully with awareness of the idea of identity and responsibility and respect for themselves, in time they will begin to look around themselves and go “Wow. Isn’t that interesting…

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