The aspiration to be 'beautiful, slim and sexy' is widely shared by teenagers and is already infecting primary school girls. It is not uncommon for 6-7 year old girls, for example, to worry about weight and want glamorous dresses to 'be more beautiful' like their TV or music favorites.
But the imperative of beauty hurts girls and can lead to tragic consequences, now more and more often at the center of the news. The alarm is raised by a doctor, psychologist, psychotherapist (and father of 4 children, 2 of whom are girls), in his new book "Girl R-evolution, become what you are" (De Agostini).
Here in 4 points how to help daughters not to grow up obsessed with beauty. And go beyond the cult of appearance.
1. Thinness is not synonymous with beauty. We need to help the daughters to be more objective with their bodies
"Most girls in the industrialized world have built their fantasies of beauty, success, and self-fulfillment around an unhealthy physical model," she explains. . In fact, among the teenagers of today (and not only) there is a widespread belief that external beauty is the key to being well, being popular at school and conquering a bright future.
In order not to fall into this trap, in which beauty is synonymous with thinness, family support is essential. Through constant dialogue and sharing reflections on concrete situations, according to the expert it is possible to help girls not to obsessively 'fixate' on their physical appearance.
A good practice, for example, is to invite daughters to look critically at 'skeletal' bodies. that populate TV, magazines, fashion and entertainment, light years away from reality, and ask ourselves: 'Why is this aesthetic ideal only for women?'. “Here is a question that all girls should ask themselves - says the psychologist. Today, who are able to fly to the moon, manage companies or win a Nobel Prize, they are tormented by the calorie count to chase a model that takes away a lot of energy for the rest ”.
Thinness rhymes with weakness. Those who are underweight, in fact, get tired sooner and it takes twice as long to reach a goal. “Perhaps, this myth may not be pure chance and hide the desire that the female gender remains, in fact, 'the weaker sex' - she says. Any girl who sees herself as 'fat and ugly' and focuses only on her weight while neglecting to cultivate her talents and qualities, would do well to think about it ”.
According to the psychologist, then, when faced with the complaints of the daughters for the alleged extra pounds, it is useful to push them to be more objective, evaluating their weight based on the body mass index (this value indicates whether the subject is normal weight, overweight or underweight). To calculate it and understand how it works, just do an online search here.
2. It's all about insecurity: parents have to help understand emotions from an early age
Feeling beautiful in the eyes of others gives a feeling of tranquility and security. That's why, as she explains, the approval of others is so important to teenagers. Who look for it, for example, even posting a slew of different photos and selfies on social networks to collect new 'Likes' every day.
In the same vein, Rosanna Schiralli psychotherapist psychologist, author of numerous books, adds: "Already at 12, there are those who tip the scales to feel good, 'loose' and not be afraid of the judgment of others, but everything this hides a great insecurity. The dependence on the 'concrete' mirror of the wardrobe reveals that instead 'the mirrors of the house', that is mother and father, do not work well from childhood ”. Parents should act like a mirror in the relationship with their children, 'mirror them', which means helping them to understand emotions. When this happens, the adolescent manages to manage them and not be overwhelmed by the urges of 'all at once'.
Among other things, according to the psychologist Schiralli, today's mothers often have an obsession with the cult of the body and project it onto their daughters making them even less safe.11 PHOTOS
10 books that make little girls dream (and they're not just about princesses)go to the gallery
From an early age, girls are bombarded with messages and images that especially enhance the outward appearance of women. For this, it has become even more ...
3. A woman's worth is not based on her looks
The girls of today, much more than those of yesterday, are dissatisfied with their reflection in the mirror and fear they will fail in every field if they do not correspond to aesthetic standards. Because?
Second, for some decades now, the value of a woman has been measured above all on the basis of her appearance: the more beautiful it is, the more it is worth. And beautiful refers to the image of a super slim body but with the curves in the 'right place'. What the author Naomi Wolf has called the 'official body', proposed to the bitter end by the world of consumption.
From the psychologist's point of view, this model has an impact on every woman but even more on the very young, it influences them and, frequently, becomes an obsession.
4. Education and dialogue: the 'vaccine' against the cult of appearance
The wispy models, however, will always be there but, according to Rosanna Schiralli, the fact that a girl sticks to the image of the Kate Moss on duty depends on how empty there is inside. “Girls are not infected from the outside, it is up to us parents to 'vaccinate' them with a good emotional education, through listening, sharing and rules. This means teaching that daughter to manage her internal world and to build it from an early age-explains Rosanna Schiralli.
It is also important to make her understand that everyone has pursued an aesthetic model that is never reached. Telling about yourself, and saying, for example, 'I too would have liked to look like Monica Bellucci at your age', allows for a profound dialogue. In this way it is possible to mediate between the real image and the ideal one to help the daughter build something more solid.
“If as a parent I have sown and made sure that my daughter has built a scale of important values and experiences, for example also sharing special moments with friends, she will feel more secure. Thus, she will accept that she does not look like a model but she has many other things ”, concludes the psychologist Schiralli.
- children at school
- beauty woman