Updated: Nov 24, 2020
1. They Don’t Consume Themselves with Social Comparisons.
It’s normal for girls to compare themselves to other girls and it’s also how they learn about themselves. Some girls may notice a close friend has a different body shape than them. Or they may compare their quiet selves to a more outgoing, popular girl, wondering if they measure up. Girls with a healthy body image gain a deeper understanding of envy and comparisons. They learn you can see another girl and inspire to do the things she does without feeling less than.
2. They Don’t Stay Friends with the Wrong People
As girl step in puberty, friendships take on more meaning as girls become more aware to their social world. This is a time cliques develop and many girls desire to climb the social ladder.
Although these friend groups make girls feel safe, there can be at a cost. Some girls may feel like they need to act a certain way to belong or the leader of the group may one day decide they no longer belong. As a young girl I dealt with this in 6th grade as I transitioned schools and no longer being the popular girl in school I was now trying to fit in with popular girls at my new schools. Everyday was the up and down rollercoaster of one day I was in and the next I was out. It took me a few months but eventually I removed myself from the toxic environment went on to make friends with some really cool kids.
3. They Don’t Repeatedly Beat Themselves Up
No one is harder on herself than the young adolescent girl. She feels like everyone is watching and judging her. Striving for perfection keeps her in place of dissolution and anxiety. This can mindset can leave girls stressed out and being unfairly critical on themselves about how their bodies are shaping up.
Girls with a healthy body image find a way to go easier on themselves. They have a better understanding that they are in a season of continues change embrace the different seasons of their adolescents.
4. They Don’t Feel Pressure to Change Their Body
Research reveals that when girls feel their body is accepted by others, they are more likely to appreciate their bodies. But if others pressure them about their body — even in nonverbal ways or by talking negatively about theirs or others’ bodies — they are at risk for internalizing those messages and developing a poor body image. The effects are more significant when they come from a family member or someone a girl shares a personal, close relationship with. This is why parents can play a big part in the way their daughters see and accept their bodies by speaking positive affirmations and using kind words. Girls that have positive reinforcements of their body and that change is beautiful and accepted tend to not allow peers influence how they feel about their body.
5. They Don’t Focus Solely on Looks
“You look so pretty,” a young girl is told. She hears this over and over again as she grows up. Girls watch shows that enforce the message that a girls’ self-worth is tied to how she looks. She gets to middle school and sees the popular, pretty, and thin girls get the attention (or maybe she’s one of them). In todays society a girls physical appearance has become scrutinized but girls don't have to dwell in this world. It like the concept of being apart of this world but no of the world. Just because society has a strong opinion on what is an appropriate body shape girls can choose to go against the grain, be unique and different framing their own opinions. This is the unique character trait of a girl that looks past external beauty and places more focus areas of life like academics, sports, and hobbies.