The Issue of Self-Image for Girls

Things Boys Should Know About a Girl’s Body Image


One of my daughters was the recent target of a bully. Dealing with bullies is one of those tough things that all kids have to work through, though it can be a major challenge for even the most confident individual. In my daughter’s case, this person used one of those horrid words to describe my little girl and it hurt her deeply.

As a mother, I immediately wanted to comfort my daughter and reassure her that everything would be ok. At the same moment, I wanted the little brat that hurt my girl to pay.

While my actions may be limited to a phone call to the school or a visit to the boy’s parents and a lot of comforting words for my crying child, I can still make this sad moment a lesson capable of improving the future for my children. What I realized was that this was the perfect moment to teach my own son about girls.

I think it is entirely appropriate for me to begin by saying that a woman’s self-image can be a very delicate subject. So much emphasis is put on physical beauty that anyone who looks a bit off can become an instant target for all the bullies of the world. And this doesn’t just apply to all the kids who are still going through those awkward growth spurts and that dreaded puberty. It applies just as much to adults too.

As a woman, we compare ourselves to others every time we look in the mirror. Sadly, many of us are never quite happy or satisfied with what we see staring back at us.

This is a list I have created to share with my son as we teach him how to become a gentleman who always treats women with respect.

  1. Words hurt

“Sticks and stones can break my bones but words will never hurt me.” There has never been a more untrue phrase than this. I can’t stress how deeply words can wound another person. Just as words can lift a person up, they can easily tear them back down.

  1. Magazines and pictures don’t truly depict real women.

Whenever I look at pictures of celebrities from the 1960’s, I am struck by how different they appear compared with the celebrities today. Celebrities today all fit into a near cookie cutter image of one another. Everyone is a size two with perfect hair and incredible makeup. This is not real life. Women come in all different shapes and sizes. The celebrities of years gone by showcased a wide range of differences, and that is what made many of them into celebrities. It is our differences that make us special and unique. We forget that at times.

  1. Image matters

It is easy to say that beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but that is just untrue.   If hurtful words are said in front of others, embarrassment almost follows.   Self-esteem impacts every portion of a person’s life and hurtful words can damage a person’s confidence in ways that can last long into the future.

  1. Being a Gentleman is Important!

Teaching your son to be gentleman around women is one of the most valuable lessons they should learn, no matter their age! My son has several older sisters and a mama who all expect him to be a gentleman at all times of the day. Even at his young age, he knows the importance of this. Respect is something that everyone deserves.

These are just a couple small areas of emphasis I will continue to place on my son as he gets older. The list will probably become larger as my daughters are exposed to the hurt of others.  Simple common decency can go along way in life whether you are a male or female. Showing other people respect is never bad advice and something we all should strive to teach our children.

I would love to hear if you can expand on this list.  Be sure to comment below if you have something you feel a boy should know about how girls perceive themselves.

One thought on “The Issue of Self-Image for Girls

  1. Fathers have a vital role here for both genders. Girls learn how they should be treated by the way their fathers treat there mothers and little boys learn how they should be treating women. A fathers love and acceptance goes a long ways in determining a girls self-worth, confidence and self-image. There is a reason that most physcologists start their examination with those dreaded 8 words…”tell me about your relationship with your father.”


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