Why summer shouldn’t be a time for body image worries

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For many, the perfect summer holiday is one spent lounging on the beach without a care in the world. Yet that very idea can cause many young people to worry about their appearance and affect their body confidence. Over the school summer holidays, it is a good idea to talk to your child and help boost their body confidence and self-esteem.

4 steps to promoting body confidence in your child

1. Start a conversation

The summer holidays provide ample time to talk to your child about how they feel about their own body image. Help them to be positive about their body, focusing on fun talk not fat talk. You can use the Body Talk Action Checklist in Dove Self-Esteem Project’s Uniquely Me guide to assist with this.

2. Set an example

Be positive about your own body, avoid unhelpful compliments that focus on weight or appearance, and ask your child to tell you off if you are negative or unkind to yourself.

3. Help your child develop a critical eye

Ask your child if they can spot how many of the images they come across in magazines and on social media are often manipulated. Help them to recognise these images and take what they see with a pinch of salt. Discuss how professional make-up artists, stylists and photographers have all gone to great lengths to make these images look the way they do. 

4. Help them reimagine what it means to be beautiful

Seek out examples of campaigns that promote the differences in people’s appearance rather than celebrating a homogenous ideal. Ask your child if they have any role models who speak up against appearance ideals, such as the artist Pink or British television presenter Jameela Jamil, who often speaks out about the body image pressures that young people are facing today. 

Download your FREE 40-page parent guide to boosting your child's self-esteem here

This downloadable pdf contains expert advice from Dove Self-Esteem Project global experts from the fields of psychology, body image, self-esteem, eating disorders and media representation to create a resource for parents that is focused on advice and action.  

Teachers: for free downloadable teaching resources, go to the Dove Self-Esteem Project area on ParentZone.org.uk

These pages are brought to you by Parent Zone and the Dove Self-Esteem Project

The advice published on Parent Info is provided by independent experts in their field and not necessarily the views of Parent Zone or NCA-CEOP.

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