Today, many young girls are constantly comparing themselves to everyone else due to the sometimes toxic world of social media.
More often, young women are suffering from insecurities about their body, which can turn into eating disorders, mental health disorders, and other problems in their lives. When it comes to being a mother today, it’s important to know how to address certain topics with your daughter and be a safe space for her to feel comfortable. But, how can you ensure that you’re setting the right example for your daughter–and not enabling the problem? Melanie Ann posted an incredibly deep and inspiring Facebook post about just how you should approach body issues and body positivity with your daughter.
“How to talk to your daughter about her body, step one: Don’t talk to your daughter about her body, except to teach her how it works.
Don’t say anything if she’s lost weight. Don’t say anything if she’s gained weight.
If you think your daughter’s body looks amazing, don’t say that. Here are some things you can say instead:
“You look so healthy!” is a great one.
Or how about, “You’re looking so strong.”
“I can see how happy you are — you’re glowing.”
Better yet, compliment her on something that has nothing to do with her body.
Don’t comment on other women’s bodies either. Nope. Not a single comment, not a nice one or a mean one.
Teach her about kindness towards others, but also kindness towards yourself.
Don’t you dare talk about how much you hate your body in front of your daughter, or talk about your new diet. In fact, don’t go on a diet in front of your daughter. Buy healthy food. Cook healthy meals. But don’t say, “I’m not eating carbs right now.” Your daughter should never think that carbs are evil, because shame over what you eat only leads to shame about yourself.
Encourage your daughter to run because it makes her feel less stressed. Encourage your daughter to climb mountains because there is nowhere better to explore your spirituality than the peak of the universe. Encourage your daughter to surf, or rock climb, or mountain bike because it scares her and that’s a good thing sometimes.
Help your daughter love soccer or rowing or hockey because sports make her a better leader and a more confident woman. Explain that no matter how old you get, you’ll never stop needing good teamwork. Never make her play a sport she isn’t absolutely in love with.
Prove to your daughter that women don’t need men to move their furniture.
Teach your daughter how to cook kale.
Teach your daughter how to bake chocolate cake made with six sticks of butter.
Pass on your own mom’s recipe for Christmas morning coffee cake. Pass on your love of being outside.
Maybe you and your daughter both have thick thighs or wide ribcages. It’s easy to hate these non-size zero body parts. Don’t. Tell your daughter that with her legs she can run a marathon if she wants to, and her ribcage is nothing but a carrying case for strong lungs. She can scream and she can sing and she can lift up the world, if she wants.
Remind your daughter that the best thing she can do with her body is to use it to mobilize her beautiful soul.”
The post originally appeared on The Huffington Post and a blog before it was reshared on Facebook. The post has since gone viral on the social media website, with over 48,000 shares and 5,000 comments. Many people were praising Melanie for such her honest, strong, and brilliant way to raise her daughter.
Societal pressures seem to consume young adults now more than ever, it’s truly beautiful to see a mother who wants to bring nothing but positivity into her daughter’s life. Brava!