What is the “perfect” body to you?
For many, it’s a Victoria’s Secret model: thin, toned, airbrushed, and flawless. The issue with this is that those models are unrealistic. Oftentimes, it’s not even the real, unedited versions of them up on those billboards we see everywhere–everyone has flaws, even supermodels, but advertisements rarely show that. In treatment for teen girls, we often deal with girls struggling with body image issues. They tell us that they feel ugly, fat, and inadequate compared to the girls they see on television and online–but they shouldn’t.
One of the most popular dolls made for girls in the world is Barbie. Blonde, tall, beautiful, long-legged, “perfect” Barbie has been showing little girls for years what they should aspire to look like and only recently has the company begun changing their brand for the better.
Why including all shapes and sizes in toys is important
Think about this: your young daughter absolutely adores her Barbie doll, plays with it every day, and even tells you she wants “to be like Barbie”–what does that mean? At an early age, she’s looking at this doll frequently and deciding in her head that that’s how she should look, even though the actual proportions of the Barbie doll are absolutely impossible. She’s forming an image of what she should aspire to look like off of something unachievable. I don’t know about you, but to me, that seems pretty bad–it can most definitely add to the reason why treatment for teen girls with body image issues is necessary.
Now, I’m not saying that it’s all Barbie’s fault–there are advertisements, magazines, television shows, and society in general teaching young girls that they should look airbrushed and photoshopped in order to be beautiful. Barbie is a great place to start change, though.
Mattel, the company that creates Barbies, revealed at the beginning of this year that they’ll be selling Barbies of different races, heights, and sizes. The classic barbie is still available, but now there’s also the option of curvy, petite, and tall in varying skin tones, hairstyles, and eye colors. I have to say, this is an incredibly smart move as a business. Little girls want to play with things that they identity with and the regular Barbie is all they’ve ever known. Popularity of Barbie has been going down for quite some time as the world has gained a better understanding of body image issues and the link to early development.
In treatment for teen girls–and in everyday life–it’s not unusual for a girl to struggle with body image issues. That’s not how it should be.
Developing a healthy body image
This isn’t just about getting your young daughter the right toy, it’s about watching what you say and do around her as well. As parents, we have a huge influence on our children–maybe more than many know. Those little comments you make about your own weight and appearance? Those can affect her. For your daughter to develop a healthy body image, you have to show her what one looks like. You have to show her that looks aren’t everything and that being flawed is absolutely okay–even beautiful.
Solstice East offers treatment for teen girls
Solstice East offers residential treatment for teen girls, ages 14 to 18. Our girls often grapple with depression, body image issues, low self-esteem, anxiety, trauma, ADHD, and other emotional or behavioral problems when they come to us. In our residential treatment for teen girls, we strive to help students develop healthy habits and lead themselves back onto a path of success and happiness.
For more information about how residential treatment for teen girls at Solstice East can help your daughter, please contact us at 828-484-9946.