Body Shame: Moms Can Pass Lack of Self-Confidence & Body Insecurity to Their Daughters
Starting research has emerged that shows the importance of mothers modeling self-confidence and body acceptance. The study found that a mother's sense of shame and rejection in her own body is closely connected to how her daughter views her own body.
"Specifically, mothers who performed frequent surveillance of their own body (checking in the mirror, examining flaws, etc.) were more likely to raise daughters who did the same."
As a child, adult and family psychologist, I see this in my practice. A mom is critical of her teenage daughter's physique:
"You're too hippy"
"You need to eat"
"You going to wear that?...It's not flattering at all to your body".
She thinks she is being helpful but what is really happening is the destruction of her daughter's self-esteem and positive body image. What I typically find is a generation of mothers repeating the same toxic behavior. The majority of these moms are not "bad moms" but rather uninformed ones who have no idea that they are tearing down their daughter's confidence and serving them up to any boy or man who has something nice to say about how they look.
So, moms, it starts with you Queens. You have to work through your own self-confidence and body insecurities, especially if you share a similar physique to your daughter. You don't want to model dissatisfaction and low self-concept to your daughter. You know girls already are trying to make sense of their ever changing hormones and evolving bodies so avoid adding to their problems. Instead, learn to love yourself, love your daughter and be happy with all of you so that your daughter can learn from the most important woman in her life...mom.
It's okay to seek change for the better. Hey, if you are not growing then you are dying. However, never being happy and seeing the flaws before you see the beauty is a problem that needs to be addressed quickly before it transfers to your little princess. I pray this educates and influences you to talk with your mother, daughter and maybe even a therapist to work through whatever issues caused low self-confidence...your daughter's self-esteem could depend on it. God Bless!