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Brains, Beauty, and Self Esteem for Girls

mirror-81780_1280While we’ve come a long way as a society, many young girls still face issues in day to day life. Many of those issues go under the radar because their effects aren’t instantly seen on the surface–but their damages are still strongly felt. A large part that gets impacted but ignored is self esteem for girls.

Girls are frequently showered with certain expectations that can make a high self esteem difficult to achieve without the proper attention.
Obsession with beauty over brains is an issue

I’m sure you’re a bit tired of hearing about societal standards affecting young girls, but recent research has put a scary spin on it. Now, not only do these standards affect how a young girl perceives her appearance, they also affect how she feels about her intellect, which plays a large part in self esteem for girls.

Parents are much more likely to search the phrase, “Is my daughter overweight?” compared to “Is my daughter a genius?” Now, this would make sense if the facts didn’t say otherwise. Boys have a higher chance of being overweight than girls and studies show girls tend to perform better than boys academically. Because of this, a recent study wanted to pinpoint how standards affect how a girl perceives intellect.

In the study, researchers discovered that girls as young as 6 years old begin to not associate themselves with the word “smart.” The researchers had different games described as for “really smart” people or for “really hardworking” people. They found that young girls were just as motivated as boys on the “really hardworking” games, but showed little motivation for the “really smart” games–even though it was the same game.

Researchers believe this shows that girls aren’t less motivated to figure out problems, they’re just less likely to believe they can solve the problem if it’s associated with being “smart.” This has the potential to hold girls back from even attempting to strive towards possible paths they could excel in.

Unfortunately, we can’t change how society nudges girls in a certain direction all in one night–but parents can make a difference in self esteem for girls. As parents, we have the ability to massively influence how our children view themselves and what they can accomplish.

It’s important to recognize when you’re playing into a stereotype for your daughter. A healthy diet and regular exercise is incredibly important for a young girl, but so is reading and learning. Looking good can help boost self esteem in girls, but only if they feel good on the inside as well. Encourage your daughter to get interested in whatever she likes, whether that’s mechanics, science, math, cooking, or other disciplines–she shouldn’t have to be held back by subtle gender norms.
Asheville Academy can help with self esteem for girls

Asheville Academy for Girls is a therapeutic boarding school for girls, ages 10-14. Our students commonly struggle with anxiety, depression, ADHD, social isolation, and other behavioral or emotional challenges. With the help of our licensed therapists, experienced teachers, caring staff, and expertly designed program, our students move closer to a healthier life. We use the best tactics and therapeutic methods in order to build a healthy self esteem at Asheville Academy.

For more information about how Asheville Academy helps with self esteem for girls, call 800-264-8709 today.

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