What can I do to help my daughters self image?

Recently my daughter has been saying she’s fat and pointing out things she doesn’t love about herself. I don’t call myself fat in front of her and I’ve always told her she’s beautiful and try to hype her up. She’s 11 years old and unfortunately from her fathers side of the family she got love hands for days and gains weight weird in her sides. I’d never point that out to her tho. Ever. But someone at school had to be and it hurts my heart bc I think she is perfect…What are some things I can do to bring her out of this negative way she’s seeing herself?


Help a mama out and respond anonymously on our forum. What can I do to help my daughters self image?

A girls day is a temporary fix. That’s fun and all. But getting her hair done and nails, doesn’t take away from what the kids are saying. So let’s be real. We all come in different shapes and sizes. And that’s ok. When we don’t like something about ourselves we change it. If we don’t like the color of our hair we dye it. If we don’t like our teeth, we get braces. There’s nothing wrong with wanting to change and better yourself for self confidence. First, find out what she loves about her herself. Focus on that. But if she is insecure about her love handles, have a real conversation with her. And see if she would like to try something to make them smaller. You can’t just ignore the way she is feeling and sugar coat it with a girls day. But you let her know, the changes she makes is for her and only her. Never change for someone else. Tell her something that you may not like about yourself and how you handle it and are learning to love that part of yourself. But addressing the concern is huge


My daughter went through this at about the same age and it was heartbreaking because she was and is still perfect. She inherited my genes so has always had curves and also she had a problem with her stomach growing up that caused bloating and the other children could be pretty mean about it. My sisters arranged for a photoshoot for her for her birthday, she loved it and made her feel really special and she loved the pictures after. Her confidence has been up and down for last few years. Next year she will be 21 and I’m hoping to get her a glamour shoot arranged. I hope your daughter can soon realise that she is beautiful and perfect and exactly how she is meant to be. This is my favourite of my daughters photo shoot when she was 12 x


Work out w her make it fun so she feels good about herself :black_heart:


Why not take her out for a girls day? Get her nails done, hair done, facials, pick out some new clothes. I think that would be a great instant confidence boost. Also, they make daily affirmation journals and I think that would be a great long term tool for her self esteem. As well as maybe starting to say an affirmation every morning. We can actually rewire our brains to believe what we’re saying if we do it enough. It would be great if you did it with her, as children model their parents behavior and who couldn’t use a little confidence boost theirself?


i was the same way but i was severely underweight. my parents thru me in martial arts. toughened me up and did wonders for my self esteem when you can punch thru a cinder block


I agree with all that about a girls day out. Also my mom said this to me and ive said it to my 11 yr old daughter as well as my son (13). They are just h
Jealous bc you have something that they wished they had. And God blessed you with the body you have bc your one of a kind. It would be a very dull and boring life if everyone was the same.


First off: don’t lie to your kid and don’t exaggerate. All kids are beautiful to their parents, but if your kid isn’t “beautiful” in the traditional sense, she will absolutely call out the BS, because her schoolmates are already doing it. Emphasize the positive things about her that don’t revolve around looks. Stress the importance of being healthy and strong.


A spa day might help, some shopping for new outfits and then u could do a photo shoot of her to show her what u see in her.


She’s only 11 and her body is preparing itself for puberty. In a few years she will blossom right before your eyes. Some girls are a little chubby at this age. Mine was and she slimmed up nicely. I know it’s hard for her right now but model healthy habits for her. Let her talk to you about it and you validate her feelings. You be the one who is always there to support her and she will always come to you. Have a girls day like suggested and use it as a bonding experience. Maybe look for some clothes that minimize her shape and are flattering. I would go into my daughter’s room everyday and have a conversion with her. She tells me everything and we now talk everyday on the phone and / or text while she’s away at college. This is hardon both of you but use it to build a close relationship with her so she knows, no matter what, mom will always love her and be there for her, and understands.

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Stand her in front of a mirror and tell her things you find beautiful about her, inside and out​:heart::heart::heart: remind her that what makes her really beautiful is on the inside​:purple_heart::purple_heart::purple_heart: im rooting for you both, my daughter does this and she is absolutely perfect, so i know how badly it hurts your heart.


Self care and meditation help me SOOOOO much. There are daily affirmations that she can say in the mirror……

Ask her what she sees when she looks in the mirror. Keep telling her she’s beautiful. Other people’s opinions of her don’t matter. It’s what she feels when she sees herself. Take her out shopping and let her try on clothes and pick out things she feels most herself in. Things she LOVES! Ask her about other things you can do to help her be more herself and secure and confident (ear piercings, different hair cut/style, fun hair color). They’re kids. Let them explore that now while there’s not so many rules. I have been fat my entire life and for so long I hated myself because of bullies… I’m 36 yrs old and just in the last couple yrs have made some changes to really explore what I like. And it’s made a world of difference in how I feel when I look in the mirror. Get her a jump start on that. It’ll do her a world of good.

My daughter went through self image issues that started before 11. I always built her up as a little girl. Unfortunately that didn’t keep my daughter from developing an eating disorder and becoming severely anemic to the point of hospitalizations and iron infusions. Please get her into therapy and possibly her Dr asap . Any preventative measure and outside resources are absolutely necessary when it comes to our girls self image. It’s heartbreaking and sad that our babies don’t see themselves through our eyes .

Find things she enjoys about herself and highlight them. If she is randomly gaining weight around her midsection get her checked for diabetes/insulin resistance. Do your best to teach her healthy eating NOT DIETS!!! She is fixing to hit puberty if it hasn’t started already and being happy with your self image is sooooo important at this age especially!! Make sure when she says things she doesn’t like about her body to validate her feelings and work on a plan to make her happy with her body.

Eat healthy and take her walking with you - around a mall or a park. But please do not put her on a diet. My mom did when I was 11 and it started years of yo-yo diets - up and down the scales, low self esteem. Never was my body frame or genetics taken into consideration.
If she sees you doing the right things and including her that will help. Dance around the house - any movement will help.

Put her in a self defense class! Nothing will give that girl more self-esteem than being able to stand up for herself.


This is partly why Take Our Daughters to Work Day was begun. Girls 9-12 focus on their looks & boys to the detriment of their grades and future because of social conditioning. Arrange for her to spend time with successful women of all shapes and sizes about what they do, how they got to where they are, how they define success and maybe ask them about their personal style. It gets girls focused more on the future, seeing that all this self-criticism and absorption is transitory.

Also teach her that when people lash out it’s usually more about themselves and their insecurities and actually has very little to do with you. It’s hard because it really feels personal.

Also asking her to rephrase things in a positive way will start to alter her mindset. Keeping a gratitude journal either together or separately can boost moods. Add something a few times a week if not every day & share highlights at the end of the week.

Make her a hair appointment and get her some highlights in her hair take her clothes shopping maybe a little bit of lipstick 11 years old I know but I was wearing it at 12 whatever it takes to feel pretty it’s good for me and it’s good for her too and also mother.

Being bigger myself, flattering clothing makes such a difference how I see my body! Seeing other girls that are on the bigger side with confidence and rocking cute outfits and realizing size doesn’t determine beauty and that all bodies are beautiful! We are all different but our bodies are what carry us threw life and loving the body we have for what it is is important! Having well fitting clothing and styles that are flattering is helpful! High waists help have a smoother appearance! Size dose not determine beauty!

Take her out for a fun day get her hair done and treat her to a make over. Some children can be so cruel x

Girls day out. Get her to talk speak about your body. Let her know that she isn’t the only one but, that bodies change over time.

I think that this is a good opportunity to teach her about healthy eating and exercising, tell her that we all are different and that beauty come in every shape and sizes but also tell her that we always have the opportunity to make changes to feel and look better , like coloring our hair and getting new hair styles , doing our nails etc.
You can even exercise with her , you can go for walks and even get a gym membership.

Also, I understand where people are coming from by mentioning sports and exercise, but that only further conditions a child to believe they’re great once they’ve changed. It makes them think “well I’ll be beautiful if I lose weight, I’ll be beautiful if I change these features” and that’s not what we want. We want our children to love theirselves as they are, so they aren’t always feeling like there’s something wrong with them that they need to change.


I was that kid… still have weird love handles… only weird because if I WAS skinny I’d have an hourglass figure but when that figure gets a few extra lbs sometimes it’s not what you’d think. Clothes that flatter the body do wonders. Maybe do mom daughter workout days to help her feel better and give her a means to fix it and make the idea of working out fun. My depressed from my body image put me in a phase where working out seemed like a punishment because of how I was. Having a good mindset about working out and body complimenting clothing will benefit a lot. Self defense classes also a good option… nobody will pick on the kid that can lay them out flat… :joy:

My daughter went through this too! Here are some suggestions: (1) If you are are a family of faith, make sure she knows that she is fearfully and wonderfully made. Her worth is not her size or shape. Everyone is shaped different! There is not one idea of beauty (2) Along with this (some might disagree) keep her off all social media. When my daughter was on them, she became obsessed with comparing herself to all the messages of what pretty girls wear, act and think. It took her to a place of actually hating herself and wanting to hurt herself. Once off, it was like night and day. She is 17 and still does not have phone and has very limited time on Insta. (3) Make sure the message to her is about being “Healthy & Strong”. Teach her what that means and put together ideas on how to do that. Many have suggested walks or sports: Yes, yes, yes! Eating foods for energy and growth. (4) She needs lots and lots of love and encouragement. If her father (or father figure) can take her on dates, treat her very special and communicate the message that she is worthy, beautiful, so unique and special, this is very powerful!


I know this sounds extreme but, try taking her to therapy. A good therapist is going to help her get to the core of what she feels is wrong with her. Please, help her before she develops an ED.


She’s at the age of “Self loathing!” She’s going to go through many “changes” within the next few yrs. Always ensure her that she’s beautiful!! 

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, what one person sees as beautiful, the next may not. Not everyone has the same tastes. Some like muscles, some like skin and bones, and some like weight. If there’s something about herself that she doesn’t like, help her fix it either with a better diet or exercise

Come up with fun new ways to try healthier foods and exercise with her. Encourage her to find positive things she does like about herself

Get her to watch her diet and start exercising sit-ups things like that that work on her waistline maybe that will help

Take walks after school with her. Look at more healthy options as snacks for the family. No soda or juices.

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oh no im sorry im going through the same with my 11 yr old daughter its so hard

Ask her where this is coming from. It’s probably NOT herself. Time for a long conversation

My daughter has a similar issue. We’re working on not worrying about what other people say.

Does she do some kind of sport once or twice a week? X

Counseling as soon as possible

It’s hard coz we live in a world that outwards appearance is more important than inside. Also social media is not even helping. Tell her she’s beautiful inside out

What about finding a sport that the both of you can do together? You don’t need to tell her that it’s for her health, just for mother/daughter bonding. You’ll get time to bond, have fun, her self esteem will go up and her health will improve. Jiu Jitsu is a great sport that’ll help her self esteem and you can do together.


Start doing a little bonding workout…. If she’s that insecure and you wanna help her

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Ik this is hard to hear but there isn’t anything you actually can do. We can not teach self confidence it is something she will have to figure out. But you can set an example. Make sure you take care of yourself and you yourself has self confidence. Our children watch and listen to us so the way they look at life and how they think ultimately is a reflection of what they see from us. Angry parents for example create angry children. Same with self esteem and self confidence

Anyway in that part of the body is indicative of PCOS and EDS. Have her be checked for pcos and check her breighton scale score.

Switch her to mainly water to drink…can even do flavor packets in it. When that age…hormones are crazy and you can gain a lot of water weight fast. Less salty snacks and foods. I got big when 11 bc started cycle and wasnt as active bc had joint issues in ankles that made my feet swell.

I switched to only water to drink with flavor packets,bicycled and jumped rope after school every day,and started doing yoga and crunches on exercise ball. Lost a ton of weight to where,every time i went out,everyone said i looked like a model. Even school event photgraphers.

You can teach her to fix the issue…or run from the issue. I fixed it and stayed in school. My cousin was same way,but chose to drop out and homeschool instead. Your choice on how to handle it.

I know it’s expensive, but my first idea would be the salon, hair & nails done, and a new outfit that she loves herself in, or two.

When I’m feeling bad about myself, I feel that’s where I usually turn. So try that?


Simple solution stop being a pussy and don’t lie to her either

Oh love tell her she’s absolutely perfect and that some people are just ugly inside and out. Ask her what she would like to do to feel better. My daughter is pretty and was still made fun of. I was the literally the ugly duckling grown-up. People dont care if your beautiful or not. They will still pick just to bother. We all grow differently. Attached is my daughter just because we’re all different and beautiful. Sending your sweet girl lots of positive thoughts.

Girls day out, help her appreciate things outside of her looks that make her wonderful, and if you havent already, definitely take the time to help her find clothing that’s flattering for HER shape! Ill fitting or unflattering clothing tends to be a huge factor in people thinking they’re “ugly.”

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I’ve got 4 girls, and my 10 year old is starting the negative self image stuff too :disappointed: and it breaks my heart. It doesn’t help that my 2nd daughter has an incredibly toned, athletic build and my oldest can see the difference. My 2nd can be quite mean about it too :rage: which is something I am working on. But when my oldest is sad, I tell her that if fat is the worst we can be, then we’re doing damned good, I tell her she has curves and that she isn’t fat at all, that we are all built different. Her other 2 younger sisters have a similar build to her as well. Also my daughters are beautiful, and kind, and smart, and clever.

Turn off the TV and especially the Kardashians!

Get her a big water bottle and teach her the importance of eating healthy drinking lots of water and regular exercise

Does she have any activities that lift her up and build up her confidence? Something that makes her feel accomplished?

But is she overweight/chubby/obese by medical standards? That was left out. I’ve seen people, especially overweight people say that a person who is very overweight wasn’t. I’ve even heard them say they were thin. If your child is medically overweight, make sure you help her diet and exercise with a good routine rather than convince her she’s fine.
If she’s very fit or thin, nothing you can do will likely change her mind. What our parents sat is often seen as said because their our parents and parents like to sugarcoat/ lie to make people feel better … (or have a different opinion because they care). Be honest with her if she isn’t beautiful in the traditional sense. Work with a nutritionist. Weight is mostly about diet. But no, a girl day won’t fix this.

Keep her off of social media

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First go to Dr to just double check all is good, kids need physicals anyhow. Start making smoothies and more whole food meals at home (tell her it is something new YOU want to try and invite her to try it with you.) Infuse water with cucumbers or fruit to drink (with no sugar), make fruit and veggie trays to snack on during a movie you are enjoying together, or try to do some art with food (cut a watermelon like a basket and fill with little balls of the watermelon and other melons, serve with little toothpicks as you sunbathe outside!)

It’s ok to be fat. Fat shouldn’t be a bad or negative word. It’s a descriptive word. Not everyone is thin. Thin isn’t the only healthy or beautiful. Every person is beautiful exactly as they are. If you go with taking her to exercise you’re just confirming her insecurities that she needs to get rid of the fat. Shower her in love and support. Show her thebirdspapaya, Tess holiday, iskira, etc on Instagram. Oh Ashley Graham is Great influence too. Big is beautiful. And so is she.

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Why don’t the 2 of you go for daily walks?

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