Sexy: What to Teach Your Daughter

If you’ve taken your young daughter or granddaughter to the mall lately, you know sexy is in! But Self-worth Analyst, Karen Eddington, says moms can do a lot to keep girls from growing up too fast. Follow her step by step advice to help keep your daughter from being too sexy, too soon.

What do I say moment #1: My teenager is constantly trying to get attention through fads and trends that emphasize being sexy.
Hot Topic in the Media: The History and Evolution of the Swim Suit, by former actress and designer Jessica Ray.

What to teach your daughter:

1.Responsibility: Any time you consider wearing a bikini, red lipstick, high heels, or engage in other provocative behaviors you have a responsibility to yourself and the people around you to respect the human body. We may often casually throw around the word “sexy” without really understanding that it means “physically attractive, exciting, and arousing.” Any time you deal with the emotions of sex there is a responsibility for respect. We often forget about valuing bodies because of all the attention placed on being physically appealing. Advertisers use sex to sell because it evokes such strong emotions. Being sexy can be used as a form of manipulation. Consider the powers of the human body with esteem and care. Teach that we need to be accountable for how we display our body.

What do I say moment #2 My nine-year-old daughter wants to show skin and wear make-up.
Hot Topic in the Media: Many people were outraged when Victoria Secret launched the spring break line,” Bright Young Things” and Abercrombie and Fitch made a push up padded bikini for eight year olds. Check out this blog post from a concerned dad.

What to teach your daughter:

2. Timing: A young girl is not prepared to be sexy. Mentally and physically she is not ready to handle the consequences of being “physically attractive, exciting, and arousing.” Even after teenagers develop adult bodies they still have a tender and underdeveloped mind. In addition, these behaviors bring on stress, anxiety, depression, and pressure during a time of childhood which should be more carefree.

There is a development and a timing that is often overlooked when it comes to being sexy. Consider why we don’t usually throw a child in the deep end of the pool on the first day of swimming lessons. They are not ready, it can be dangerous. There is a time, a place, and a season for some behaviors. Some parents may feel that wearing natural make-up at age 13 is a good start. As you go through the steps with a young child or teen who wants to participate, teach correct motives. We can wear make-up because in our culture it can be a way a woman gets ready for the day, it can be positive, it can serve a function. It is NOT about wearing make-up to get attention, to compete with other girls (to be better than they are), or to manipulate others behaviors.

This issue is getting more blatant younger and younger and we need to stay vigilant. Teach that appropriate timing can emotionally and physically safeguard your daughter.

What do I say moment #3: My daughter is really worried about dieting and she is frequently putting herself down because she thinks her body is not attractive enough.
Hot Topic in the Media: Abercrombie & Fitch CEO Mike Jeffries commented that he “doesn’t want larger people shopping in his store,” Watch what Ellen Degeneres had to say about that:

What to teach your daughter:

3. Importance of our body: To live is to have a body—your body is the very essence of your life. Your body is good. Your body is important. Your body should be cherished. It carries you through life. Do you know how cool it is to smell, and see, and walk, and run, and dance, and sleep, and eat? Bodies are cool!! They’re just amazing!! Yet, we spend so much time resenting these bodies, altering them, using them for attention, making it THE source of our worth.

Recently my own 5-year-old daughter saw a racy commercial and asked, “Mom, what is that girl doing with her body?” The very first thing that I said was, “I don’t think that girl knows how cool her body is.” Here was a teaching moment. I wanted to shout from the roof tops every fact, statistic, and lecture I knew about body image. But I couldn’t because she is going to have to figure this out for herself. My lecture won’t matter, but helping her to think about it and get her own perspective on the subject will. I used the question, “What do you think makes our body so cool?”

One of the most powerful things you can teach and instill something in them, help them see and feel for themselves how good, important, and yes, cool our body is. Teach them about the importance of our body, it really is cool, help them know for themselves.

4. What do I say moment #4: My daughter watches and mimics celebrities. She is getting the message that you are not important if you are not physically appealing.
Hot Topic in the Media: Music videos are getting attention for featuring topless women for example, Robin Thicke’s “Blurred Lines” and Timberlake’s “Tunnel Vision” recently sparked controversy.

What to teach your daughter:

Emotional Consequences: One of the most overlooked, and under talked about struggles of being sexy is the cost and demands on our emotions. If we engage in sexy behaviors incorrectly there are emotional consequences. This is not just in the extremes of sexy, there are flat out simple things we do to be physically attractive that throw us into depression, anxiety, and severe bouts of inadequacy. When you base your worth off appearance, you will be forever limited to the success or failure of your appearance. A.K.A. “The Emotional Rollercoaster.” Level out your emotions by taking away the conditions. Find out for yourself that your worth is not based on conditions. Teach and seek out what self-worth means. Your value has no conditions. It is always there it does not change.

Karen Eddington is a self-worth analyst and mom comedian. After spending over ten years researching women and teens, she often has been seen helping people understand why life can be so hard. As a mother of three she explains that being a mom is a lot like running a marathon, in flip flops, on a treadmill. You can put in a lot of effort, yet never cross the finish line. Look her up on facebook for more opportunities to connect and laugh. or on her website

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