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Changing The Narrative: Teaching Your Teen About Beauty Standards And The Media

November 10, 2020

November 10, 2020

With most female models weighing 23% less than the average woman worldwide, the perception of beauty and a perfect body has been altered through the media and on the internet. These platforms have also affected the idea of beauty for teens too. Unfortunately, you cannot do much to stop the flooding of such content in the media. So, how can you change the narrative of beauty that your teen has been exposed to? Here are a few tips.

1. Have an open discussion on puberty and body changes

If you are waiting for your teenager to approach you to discuss changes happening in their bodies, then you will wait for a while, as they are more comfortable having these talks with their peers. You should initiate such conversations in a healthy, confident, and factual manner. Your teenager will easily decipher if you are comfortable discussing such sensitive body issues. Explain how normal it is for their bodies to go through these changes, and help them understand that some weight gain, acne, or breakouts during puberty is normal and expected. Let them know that these changes must happen as a transition to adulthood; when they do, they would be comfortable with their bodies.

2. Help them understand that makeup is not the ultimate in beauty

After many years of your child’s exposure to fashion magazines, television, and social media, now is the time to undo the negative perception of beauty. Makeup in itself is not a bad thing; rather, it enhances the physical appearance by hiding blemishes. Take the time to help your teenager understand that makeup comes second to inner beauty. Perhaps, you should dwell on the essence of good sleep, eating nourishing foods that enhance skin, hair, eye, and general body health.

3. Talk about achievements with your teenager

Even though appearance boosts likeability, you should help your teenager acknowledge and appreciate their achievements. It may be sports, academics, passion for cooking, or the arts. As a parent or guardian, you will know best what these strengths are, which should be your driving force. Make it your habit to express gratitude for every positive thing they do for you, themselves, or others. As a tip, encourage your teenager not to focus on failures as that is an opportunity to do better next time.

4. Talk about media messages and monitor internet usage

Many people are aware that media content (particularly in the fashion industry) is airbrushed and digitally enhanced. However, it does not prevent some people from feeling inadequate in their skin, making them self-conscious and lowering their self-confidence. To detect what your teenager is doing online, safely monitor their internet usage. Indeed, this is not stalking their social media activities. Instead, by viewing their social networking sites, you can preview posted pictures and other content. You can use the vpn for fire stick, which converts any TV set with an HDMI port into a Smart TV. Perhaps, that would inform the direction of the discussion with your teenager(s).

Raising teenagers in the 21st century can be challenging. In effect, be available to help them and protect them from factors that could bring them down.



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Successful Black Parenting is proud to announce that we are bringing our readers more researched-based content written by the members of the American Psychological Association’s (APA) RESilience Initiative, which provides resources to parents and caregivers for promoting the strength, health, and well-being of children and youth of color. We will also feature their members who have contributed articles to Successful Black Parenting on our BackTalk podcast. Learn more about the RESilience Initiative at www.apa.org/res.

THE AMERICAN PSYCHOLOGICAL ASSOCIATION'S (APA) RESilience Initiative

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