It’s that time of year again – time for fun in the sun, spending time with friends, vacations, barbecuing, and……swim suit season!

What comes with swim suit season you ask?  Lots of articles telling us, “how to get fit for your bikini this summer” and articles asking,  “Are you beach bod ready?”, etc.  Society tells us that we must look a certain way in order to feel good about ourselves and look good on the beach or by the side of the pool.  Don’t get me wrong, obviously it’s beneficial to work out from time to time and stay heart healthy, but have we ever stopped to think about how these articles are affecting our self esteem?  Even for adults, it can be hard for us feel content in our bathing suits and it takes some reassurance and self talk to work up the confidence.  Imagine, however, how hard it must be for an adolescent girl – a young girl who is learning more and more each day about who she is, who is coming into her own, and who is trying to navigate the pressures of living up to certain standards among her peers.

So, what can we do to help the young girls in our society feel better about themselves when they are feeling insecure or when they are worried about their appearances?  Or what can we do to prevent that altogether?  As a parent, friend, or guardian of young girls here are some things to remember….

1.) Positive Body Modeling – When you are in front of an adolescent girl, make sure you aren’t making any negative remarks about your appearance around them.  For instance, steer clear of saying things such as, “this shirt makes me look fat”, or “I can’t believe I’ve put on 5 pounds!”  Teenagers are easily influenced by what they hear and see so it’s important to remember to stay positive regarding your own appearance, particularly when you are around them.

2.) Avoid People Pleasing – Encourage the young adolescent girl to stand up for herself and speak what’s on her mind regularly (in an appropriate way of course).  Let her make choices for herself and honor her choices with respect.  This will help her to develop a keen sense of self and not easily be influenced by others in a negative manner.

3.) Get her involved – get your daughter involved in team sports or activities.  This will help her to develop her own interests and be more willing to express herself in creative ways. Also, having a team influence will help the young teen to bond with others and create a strong support system.

These are just a few tips to begin with, but there are always more positive ways to help boost adolescent girls self-esteem and overall confidence. When it comes to yourself and other girls during bathing suit season, just remember to be proud of who you are and flaunt your body proudly.  Remember, you have no one to impress.  Summer is about having fun and enjoying yourself.  Wear your bathing suit, strut around the poolside, and have your ice cream too! 🙂