Girls will be Girls
What happened to girls being girls? Is social media to blame for them growing up too fast and being plagued with self esteem issues? Or is it simply a sign of the changing times and we need to find new ways to nurture our little ladies and provide a safe haven for them to just be themselves.
Presenting oneself in a well put together way is something I learnt from my mother and she from her mother. Even to this day, it’s rare for any of us to be seen without at least the slightest stitch of make-up on.
I was around 12 years old when I began sneaking into my parent’s bedroom to powder my face with Mum’s compact. But these days it seems almost normal for young girls to wear full faces of make-up on a daily basis and dress beyond their years.
They are at an impressionable age and are influenced by the pouting, scantily-clad and selfie-obsessed celebs like Lianna Perdis, Ariana Grande, Kendall and Kylie Jenner. Young girls idolise these people, they want to act like them, dress like them and be just like them.
Interested to learn about the underlying reasons our girls are growing up faster than ever, I caught up with self esteem coach and mum-of-four daughters, Dawn Osborne to tell me more.
“All teenage girls go through a phase of insecurity and self esteem issues, it’s part of growing up and discovering who we are as individuals. However, in the last 10 years I see that social media has played a much bigger role in compounding low self esteem issues. With photo editing and filters we can see the way other girls beautify their pictures, which can lead to personal thoughts of a negative self image,” she says.
“It’s interesting because I remember playing with make-up around 13 to 14 years, but actually wearing it around 15 years. Again, today we have amazing marketing strategies used by big companies to infiltrate young people online.
We have a lot more choice and access to YouTube information and training, which young girls like to follow.”
What can we do to boost girls’ self esteem?
- Tell them they are beautiful inside and out.
- Look for the hidden treasures of goodness inside them.
- “I’ve worked with many high risk teens and all of them are suffering with low self esteem. I make it my mission to draw out and tell them about the good I see,” says Dawn. “I don’t tell them unless I believe it to be true. Kids know an empty compliment when they hear it.”
So rather than throwing our hands up in the air and resigning to the stresses and obsesses of social media, it’s up to all of us (whether we’re mothers or not) to raise an inspired generation who see the beauty within, understand their worth and feel comfortable and confident to be their own person. Here’s to strong women – may we know them, may we be them, may we raise them.