Sometimes the beauty industry does good! I know Dove is selling its products with the "Campaign for Real Beauty," but I really like the new video called "Onslaught" that encourages parents to talk to their kids before the media does. They are also providing a great real beauty web site for parents and mentors with some great activities to help build media literacy and protect self-esteem.
The average US girl has the opportunity to see an estimated 77,546 commercials by the time she is 12 years old. This growing phenomenon is having a direct impact on girls' self-image and most girls and young women report feeling anxiety or stress about their looks. As parents, we need to talk to kids about exercise, fitness, and development - so they have a realistic idea of how their genetics, size, and activity levels interact to maintain their unique body size. In addition, they are still growing and dieting is not OK. They need a healthy and varied diet. Parents and kids need to know that a child going through puberty will get stretch marks, can gain 40 lbs and grow up to 10 inches - which requires a lot of fuel. If kids do not get enough food they can get brittle bones.
Raising children who believe that enjoying life requires they be thin or with enough hunger and working out they can all look like a super model is just WRONG!!! Every person is beautiful and as parents, we need to help our children find their strength.