5 Ways to Combat Harmful Media Influence

Did you know…?

Teen girls who read magazine articles about dieting were more likely five years later to practice extreme weight-loss measures, like vomiting after eating (University of Minnesota, 2007).

At 17, the average girl has seen more than 250,000 commercials aimed at her looks (Harris Interactive Poll, 2007).

This week at Girls on the Run, we are discussing the harmful effects that media can have on our girls. What can you do as a parent to help stop harmful media influence?

1)      Watch what you say – Your daughter is really smart. So she’s going to notice it if you spend a lot of time talking about dieting or criticizing your own body. You are your daughter’s biggest role model. If you take care of yourself, you will help your daughter appreciate her own body.

2)      Speak from personal experience – If your daughter is struggling with body image, you might share your own insecurities and how you dealt with them. You want her to know you understand.

3)      Encourage her to be active –  Getting your daughter involved in sports or Girls on the Run is a great way to make sure she learns how to live a healthy lifestyle. More importantly (see #1), get active with her. It’s another one of those monkey say, monkey do things.

4)      Never talk about your daughter’s weight – Or your own for that matter. It’s best to keep the focus on health rather than a number on the scale.

5)      Praise her for all of her talents – Make sure she knows she’s more than just a pretty face. When you value your daughter for all of her skills and abilities, she learns to value herself for more than her appearance. So compliment your daughter on all of her  wonderful talents like her creativity or thoughtfulness.


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