The start of a new school year is often used as a time for teens to develop a new personal style.
Many students in our area are getting ready to head back to school for full-time in-person learning for the first time since March 2020.
The pandemic as taken a toll on mental health for many teens, including their body confidence.
Researchers from the Center for Body Image Research and Policy at the University of Missouri recently found that 40 percent of young people would rather contract COVID-19 than gain 25 pounds.
Lindsay Rae, a body image activist, joined us on Good Day Rochester with six steps parents can take to help kids transition back to school with a healthy sense of self-acceptance.
- Don't discuss weight when asking if your child needs new clothes. Reference height or change of personal style instead.
- Do not force the kids department on developing teen bodies. Appropriate clothes exist in women's section and teens for girls who's bodies develop quickly. Trying to force an early developer into children's clothes is a set up for body dysmorphia
- Teens use clothes as a way to explore gender identity so please do not force gendered clothes on your child but allow them to fully explore who THEY want to be.
- Help curate your teens social media by encouraging them to follow diverse body accounts and accounts that represent them and their likes. Influencers exist for everything; help your teens pick the best ones.
- Parents should not imply that a teenage daughter is “somehow responsible for regulating the male gaze.” Don’t focus the conversation on how a girl’s outfit might make her male peers or teachers uncomfortable in school.
- Teach girls to think critically about their choices, so they can distinguish between what they actually want and what “culture is feeding them” when it comes to clothing. Autonomy is key.