5 Ways Books Can Boost Your Daughter’s Body Confidence

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Building up our daughter’s body confidence is one of the most important—often overlooked—things we can do as moms when it comes to raising happy, healthy girls. Why so? Because poor body image is one of the leading risk factors for eating disorders.

Plus, feeling bad about our bodies just is no way to live! It distracts of from important moments, steals our joy, and undermines our self-confidence and self-worth.

The problem?

Sometimes as moms, we just don’t have the words to tackle certain issues. Or, we’re so afraid of saying the wrong thing that we try not to say anything! Can you say #zipit?

But staying quiet doesn’t always feel so great either.

So what’s a great way to help build up her body confidence without feeling like you’re walking into a body image conversation landmine?

Books, my momma friend, books!

I’m not recommending you give up on talking to her about her feelings about her body altogether. Far from it! I just want you to see the value of bringing on an inexpensive, always-available wingwoman to help with this complex topic.

Books can help you feel confident that she’s got all the positive information she needs to feel good about herself. Books can be reassuring to you as a parent because they can talk to her in a way that you (sometimes) can’t.

Say, because you just haven’t had that experience (#socialmediainmiddleschool, for example) or because it’s been like three decades since you’ve been there yourself (#firstperiodinthe1990s, for example).

In this piece, you’ll find four ways books can help build up your daughter’s body confidence when you just aren’t sure what to do or say!

Once you’re ready to build up your own body confidence arsenal, you’ll find a link to my best body image book recommendations.

Let’s dive into how books make a great backup to your own parenting skills!

Building Up Body Confidence: 4 Ways Books Can Help You Help Your Daughter

Books are so darn useful when it comes to helping her deal with the ups and downs of body image because they help her:

  1. Build Body Image Resilience

    They equip your daughter with tools to navigate societal pressures and develop resilience against body shaming or unrealistic expectations. When a bad body image day or moment does strike, she’ll have the inner resources to bounce out of it.

  2. Broaden Her Perspective

    Books provide powerful narratives from diverse individuals and perspectives. When she is getting encouragement on self-love and acceptance from more than just loved ones it can amplify and reinforce the positive messages you’re offering her yourself.

  3. Make Important Conversations Easier

    Using the books as a guide and reference, you can initiate meaningful conversations with your daughter about body image, fostering a safe and supportive environment for discussion. Here are a few tips to get you started:

    • For younger girls, reading them together can be an easy point of entry for what might initially feel like a not-so-easy discussion.

    • For older girls and longer books, you can simply ask, what do you notice? Or what do you think? about how a specific topic was handled.

    • For reluctant readers, you can tease out a topic and build curiosity by letting her know you’ve already read the book yourself and saying, I really loved that story the author told about [fill-in-the-blank]. Or, there’s the coolest or weirdest tip in this book about [fill-in-the-blank], which might up the odds she’ll pick up the book herself as you casually leave it near her bed.

  4. Protect Her From Social Media Influences

    Books can shed valuable light on the harmful effects of media. They teach your daughter to critically analyze and question societal beauty standards and understand the source and context of the images they see.

Which Books Work Best?

Convinced books can help you when it comes to building up her body confidence? You can find a list of the books about body image that I recommend in my workshops and use with my own girls including fiction.


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Cover of the book Diet Proof Your Daughter
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