Posted on

Body Image: Positive Role Modeling

positive body image for girls

Art by Maya Burman

All humans learn by imitation.

Girls learn how to be a girl and how to be a women by observing and imitating the women in their lives.

Your own body image and your beliefs about your body have a strong influence on how the girls in your life feel about their bodies.

If you have poor body image, you can still convey positivity by being intentional about your speech and actions, and also doing your best to love all the parts of your body.

I struggle with body shame myself, but I did not pass it onto my daughter.  According to her! I believe this is because I worked consciously, on a daily basis, to feel great about my body and to speak only in positive ways about my body, her body, and all bodies.

Here are some tips. Which of these sound good to you? What would you add?


  • Asking "Do I look fat in this?"
  • Weighing yourself daily.
  • Speaking about "good food" and "bad food"
  • Talking about your muffin top, or your flabby or saggy anything
  • Commenting on the weight gain or loss of others.
  • Magazines and media with body shaming messages.
  • Frequent commentary about her appearance


  • Carry yourself with pride whether walking, standing, sitting, dancing...
  • Exercise and move your body in ways that delight you
  • Eat fabulous healthy food
  • Find a daily body-loving meditation, ritual or activity
  • Affirm that people come in all sizes and shapes

These Body Image practices are simple but truly powerful.

Pick one and try it for a week or two. Notice how your daughter responds. Notice how YOU feel.

Follow your body's wisdom as you continue to build your body positive role modeling. Your body knows. At some level, she is working to support your to break the cycle of generational body shame and to raise a daughter who is in love with her entire body.


What's worked well for you?  What pitfalls would you advise others to avoid?  Where are you struggling with body image issues?

Please share as a comment below. 

Thank you!  Together we rise!

Positive Body Image

Waiting by Tilly Willis

Mentoring Girls Certificate Training

JOYW's Mentoring Girls Certificate Training  is open for enrollment!

You'll enjoy new content, new resources and new collaborative opportunities in addition to an extensive interactive resource platform offering post-graduate support beginning in 2017.  Leadership roles are opening up.  

Learn more here.

Posted on

Should My Daughter Be Wearing A Bra?

"Should my daughter be wearing a bra?" is a question that some parents never pose to themselves.  Other parents are unsure. "Listen to your daughter" and "Let go of the idea that breasts are something that need to be hidden" suggests Meagan Murphy in this pithy, powerful guest post.  ~ Katharine

Does my daughter need a bra?

The decision to wear a bra or not wear a bra, or in the mother’s case, whether to buy a bra for your daughter, is one that merits careful consideration.

Breasts are emblems of nature, little buds that grow into unique flowers. These flowers are part of a woman’s body for the rest of her life, and will change as she gets older.

The impulse that these flowers should be tamped down, that breasts should be hidden by bras from a young age, is the same impulse that drives humans to disconnect from nature.

Tips to help you and your daughter make a choice about bras:

  • Decide whether or not bras are something that make you feel comfortable by either trying one on or letting your breasts be free.
  • Listen to your daughter as she discovers how she wants to cultivate her own “flowers” (breasts). Young girls hold a wisdom that has yet to be touched by societal influences.
  • Interact with nature.
  • Interact with your breasts 

The culture says we need bras to disguise our breasts

Let go of the idea that breasts are something that need to be hidden. These thoughts are one imposed by our culture, and while it is necessary to work within societal norms in some contexts, the home you share with your family can be a place of growth and comfortability.

~ Meagan Murphy 

Meagan Murphy is the producer of The Breast Archives (to be released this fall). She brings 20+ years of experience in film and broadcast, including 12 years with PBS. Meagan earned a Communicator’s Award for her work with teens and a Medical Journalism Fellowship. She also completed a 2-year women’s mystery school and Journey of Young Women's Mentoring Girls Certificate Training.

Find The Breast Archives on Facebook. Watch the trailer.

Art by Emilano Ponzi and Daniela Uhlig

Posted on

Tell Her About Her Body

Tell her about her body.

To be grounded and confident in her Whole Self, every girl needs to know her Whole Self, and that starts with her body.

Everything begins with the body.

When a girl lives in her body, understands her body, honors her body, she is able to stand up for herself, love herself, tune into her emotions, listen to her intuition, and connect with Spirit.

She's never too young to hear you naming all her body parts, including vulva, labia and anus. They are all sacred.

She's never too young for you to affirm that self-pleasure is good - and that it's private (e.g., bedroom or bathroom with door closed).

She's never too young to know that she is a sovereign being and that her body belongs to her. For example: She gets to choose who touches her and how and when. That includes tickling from Uncle Jorge and hugs from Aunt Ethel.

She's never to young to observe you practicing self-care, including honoring and taking care of your menstrual cycle, if you bleed.

Demonstrate honor and respect for your body and hers.

Over time, tell her the story of a woman's sexuality and fertility and the changes of puberty.

From these, all good things arise. 

Digital art by Kelly Tan.  Photo by Quim Fàbregas

Posted on 2 Comments

Your Daughter’s Body-Love Begins with Yours

Show your daughter how to love her body!

Alongside self-care and refraining from speaking "body-shame," one of the most powerful things we can do for our own daughters and for our collective daughters is to tune into our feelings and beliefs about our own body.

In this culture, for many of us, truly loving our body is a daily spiritual practice.

Shining the light of awareness on our own thoughts and emotions about our body is a ginormous step toward releasing body-shame and embracing body-love.

Tenderly ask yourself questions like these. As you do, tune into how your body-mind responds, and treat each response with empathy and love.

  • What about your body do you dislike, hate, judge or criticize?
  • How did you learn to feel/believe this way?
  • In what ways do neglect, ignore or harm your body?
  • If you aim to change or camouflage part of your body that you see as ugly or unacceptable, in what ways to you do this and what are your feelings and beliefs about this?
  • How do you nurture, tend and rejuvenate your body?
  • How do you evaluate or interpret the appearance of others?
  • How would you like your daughter (or your young self, or all young women) to feel about her body? How would you like her to treat her body?
  • What steps would you enjoy taking to have a more beautiful and healthy relationship with your own body?

Sisters, do you see how your own inner work will open the way for your daughter to love and honor her body?


Print out the list of questions.

Reflect on each question for at least a day, perhaps a week.

Much healing for you, and much body-love for your daughter, lies ahead on this path.

Thank you, sisters, for reading and reflecting.  Stay tuned for more posts about the inner work you can do for yourself and on behalf of our collective daughters.

May we together expunge from the face of the earth the body-shame that has debilitated us for generations.  May the global sisterhood once more love and honor our amazing, sacred bodies.

Much love and many blessings,

Art by Shirokova Inna and Tam Austria

Mentoring Girls Certificate Training

JOYW's Mentoring Girls Certificate Training  is open for enrollment!

You'll enjoy new content, new resources and new collaborative opportunities in addition to an extensive interactive resource platform offering post-graduate support beginning in 2017. 

Deeper partial scholarships are now being funded by the Mary Krueger Scholarship Fund.

Learn more here.