What's This Blog All About Then?

I'm on a mission to roadtest ways of overcoming negative body image. For years I have struggled with feeling I don't look 'good enough', I'm too fat or flabby. Even when I was a UK Size 8! During each of my two pregnancies I fell back in love with my body, marvelling at the amazing things it was doing and at my feminine voluptuousness.

Now that my most recent baby has been outside of my body for a while, the mum tum and stretchmarks are starting to bug me. I have decided enough is enough. I want to feel proud of my body like I did when I was pregnant. I don't want to wait until I'm a certain weight or dress size to feel good about the way I look. I want to love my body just the way it is right now. And I want to help other women to love their imperfectly perfect bodies too.

Join me on my quest for a better body image. During my journey to (I hope) total body confidence, I'll be posting useful resources, tips and research on body image and self acceptance. There will also be posts from other people shedding light on how to feel comfortable in the skin you're in - maybe you'd like to send me an article? Contact me at annacolette(at)gmail(dot)com with 'Body Image' in the title.

Thursday, 4 November 2010

Are We Inadvertently Teaching our Daughters to Hate Their Bodies?

Most young women in the UK are unhappy with their bodies. A survey on newwomanco.uk in 2001 found that just one per cent of young women are "completely happy" with the shape of their body. Over 3,000 women, with an average age of 25, responded to the survey.

A more recent survey by BLISS magazine found that 90% of teenaged girls who were unhappy with their own appearance also thought their own mother had "an insecure body image".

As mothers we have a huge responsibility to our daughters. We can inadvertently pass on our body insecurities to our daughters. After all, we are their first example of what it means to be female. It is vital that we learn to love ourselves, to feel comfortable in our own skin and so become the positive female role models we so desperately want to be.

More than half of the 2,000 girls questioned for the poll said “their mothers worried and moaned” about her own weight, which made them even more aware of how important being slim was to look and feel good.

Nearly a fifth (19%) said they were "already suffering from an eating disorder" such as anorexia or bulimia, and 26% of 14 year olds said they had considered having plastic surgery or taking diet pills.

Helen Johnston, editor of BLISS Magazine, has said: "Female body image obsession has grown year on year since the 60s and it's now reached epidemic proportions, filtering down to young girls.

"Teenage girls look to their mums for guidance only to see them continually worrying about their own body shape and size. Now many girls of 13 and 14 are dieting constantly at an age when their bodies are still developing."

This has got to stop. How can we learn to love our appearance and teach our daughters and other young women to do the same?


  1. Beautiful bodies, all. Each of these women looks healthy, strong, sexy, confident & happy in her own skin. The size is irrelevant. I agree, talking diet & weight loss in front of our daughters is incredibly destructive. We can't (unfortunately) protect our daughters from the plastic world of celebs & airbrushing, but we can teach them to value strength (of body & of character), health & to value themselves instead. Great blog.

  2. Thanks for your comment, I completely agree we need to teach our daughters to value themselves and their health.

    I was shocked when Ella (aged seven) asked me if I thought her tummy looked fat. It doesn't but even if it did I wouldn't want her to be concerned. I really hope she didn't pick that one up from me, though I think she may have.

    I'm determined to find ways we can all come to terms with the way we look right now (whatever we look like)and start to focus on health and vitality instead of 'looking perfect'.

  3. hi, I must say my mother did occassionally diet, but she never did any excercise. She never made an issue about dieting. I've never felt the need to diet, and I feel I have a positive body image. I think your mother is a very strong image, but celebrity and media have a huge role too but it's how we as parents address and moderate such images in discussions with our children. Through my twenties I wanted bigger boobs. Decided it didn't matter in my thirties (thanks Kate Moss). In my forties I had my son, finally got big breast feeding boobs - found them very strange.

  4. Gemma, I completely agree that media and celebrities have a huge influence too. It's great that you have a positive body image - I hope that one day soon I'll be able to say the same thing!

    If you have any tips on how to have a positive body image, I'd love to hear them...