Seven in ten girls believe they are not good enough or don’t measure up in some way, including their looks, performance in school, and relationships with friends. And a girl’s self-esteem is more strongly related to how she views her own body shape and weight than how much she actually weighs. 42% of first, second, and third grade girls want to lose weight, and close to 50% of nine-eleven year olds said they were sometimes or often on a diet. Wow!
Perhaps there is a different, healthier kind of diet plan that would better suit the developmental and social-emotional needs of girls in grade school on up. Here are some items girls may want to consider giving up.
- Fitting in: Don’t strive so hard to get into the popular group, fit in, and be like everyone else. Instead, become unpopular, risk rejection, speak your mind, stand out, bust out, and express your true self.
- Move on from abusive friends: You are constantly teaching other people how to treat you, so putting up with bad treatment tells everyone that it’s okay. You deserve the best friends ever, so make a list of the qualities of a BFF and then hang out only with people who match the list.
- Non-verbals: Rolling your eyes, turning your back on someone, wearing a disgusted look on your face are ways that you are sending messages to people. They are interpreted as: I hate you, you are nothing, no one likes you, go away, you are stupid etc. You’d probably never verbalize those words, so stop saying it with your negative body language.
- Good girls: Stop being such a “good girl”: follows the rules, selfless, puts everyone’s needs before hers, always happy, waits her turn, passive, and doesn’t stand out. Instead, make some noise, ruffle some feathers, challenge stereotypes and traditions, create adventures, go outside the box, embrace your power, and unleash your magnificence!
Instead of focusing on dieting to look hot in their bathing suit this summer, girls would do better to let go of the unhealthy patterns in the four points above. They would feel more content, confident, relaxed, fulfilled, powerful, and happy.