Daughters and Body Image

I’ve heard and seen the signs already—in both of my girls. Concern about how they look. They are spending more time in front of the mirror. They compare and contrast their eyes, hair, and other body parts with each other and with me. One daughter laments about her nose; it’s too wide. It’s gorgeous (a mother’s informed opinion). My other daughter worries about body fat. Where it hides, I’ve no idea.

Like other moms, I try to project confidence about my self-image. I intentionally set out not to pass down any issues I might have with body image.

As a woman and as a transracial adoptive mother I am responsible for building confidence and reinforcing positive self-image of another race. This includes reminding my girls that because they are Asian, they are they differ physically from me in many ways. I want them to have realistic expectations and be able to love themselves for who they are.

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3 Comments

Filed under Racial Identity, The International Mom

3 responses to “Daughters and Body Image

  1. Karen Caswelch

    I think we’re finally getting past this point with our 16 year old daughter. I don’t hear much about negativity toward her body image. We also don’t focus on weight, because she has big bones, so she weighs more than most people would guess.

    Our main focus has been on keeping in shape and good nutrition. Since she plays volleyball (and her dad is the coach), she has some motivation at home. I worried like crazy that she would go into the “anorexic phase”, but she managed to get past the “I’m fat” phase safely.

  2. It’s a wonderful goal.

    We don’t have a transracial issue, my daughter and I do have very different features, most noticeably hair color. I must admit that I was surprised that she thought at one time that mine was the “right” color.

    Let me know what other body image tips you have — what a great topic.

  3. I know, isn’t it the pits? It’s especially bad with my almost 10-year-old…but even my littler one is getting concerned with appearance. You make some good points!

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