Learn to love your body so that your daughter can too
7 tips for self-love from the author of Learning to Love Your Body, Jessica Sanders
The best thing you can do for your daughter’s body image is to improve your own. The second best thing is to get them a copy of Learning to Love Your Body. If implemented these seven strategies will help you on your journey to self-love.
1) Unfollow toxic accounts on social media.
It can often feel like we are at the mercy of social media, we can’t stop ourselves from scrolling even though it makes us feel inadequate. What we forget is that we are the creators of our own feeds, we choose what we see and what we don’t. Cleanse your life from toxic influencers who perpetuate the beauty ideal, you don’t need them, but they need you. Byeeeeeeee bish!
2) Follow accounts that feature diverse bodies.
A friend once told me to follow accounts which featured diverse bodies that were bigger and smaller than my own. It might have been the single best thing I ever did for my mental health. Exposing yourself to wonderful people who celebrate their ‘imperfections’ such as cellulite, stomach rolls, stretch marks, etc, normalises these incredibly normal traits. Following people with diverse bodies reshaped my brain and consequently changed my relationship with my body for the better.
3) Remind yourself of your body’s true purpose.
Your body isn’t an object to be looked at, critiqued and judged, it serves a purpose. Yours is an incredible instrument which allows you to do, see and feel. Remind yourself of this fact when you feel dissatisfied with your body.
4) Make a gratitude list of the things your your body allows you to do.
Here’s an example:
- My arms which allow me to hug my child.
- My legs which have carried me up mountains.
- My nose which can smell the saltiness of the sea.
- My tongue which allows me to enjoy the sweet taste of wine
5) Look in the mirror and repeat these words.
“My body is strong and resilient. My body can do amazing things. My body is my own.”
6) Call yourself out on the self-hate talk.
When I hear the voice in my head beginning to critique parts of my body, I say to that voice, ‘Bitch we ain’t got time for that!’. Then I carry on with what I was doing. It might not always work but over time you’ll notice that voice appearing less and less.
7) Don’t engage in self-deprecating conversations.
Women, in particular, are guilty of having the odd self-deprecating conversation. Often times children overhear these conversations and absorb the toxic messages within them. Sometimes these conversations are how we attempt to make our self-deprecating friend feel better about their insecurities by listing five of our own. All we end up doing is making our friend, and ourselves feel terrible. If someone brings up something self-deprecating, change the topic to a more positive one, or say, “I don’t see you like that, I think you're a beautiful human on the inside and the outside.”