Five ways to stop the thigh gap obsession

  • Updated: May 8, 2013 - 3:07 PM

FIVE WAYS TO STOP THE THIGH GAP OBSESSION

Here are five things you can do to counter “thinspiration” and thigh-gap concerns, according to clinical psychologist Lucie Hemmen, author of “Parenting a Teen Girl”:

1. Encourage athletics. Girl athletes are somewhat inoculated against the media’s too skinny messages. “Sports keep them focused and confident,” Hemmen says.

2. Seek positive role models. Focus on celebrities who defy the status quo image of beauty, like Beyoncé and Adele. “They are beautiful and strong and represent real women,” she says.

3. Wield your power. Mothers, aunts and other adult women need to recognize that they are powerful role models. You may think your daughters don’t listen to you, but they do. “If you are always on a diet or complaining about your body, you are sending your daughter a message,” she says.

4. Help someone with an eating disorder. “Eating disorders are highly communicable,” Hemmen says. “If a girl who’s 98 pounds is hating on her body and saying how fat she is, then her entire friend group feels the effects of that.”

5. Encourage media literacy. “Make an effort to be around when your teen daughter is on Tumblr or watching something on YouTube. You can say, ‘Honey, that’s been digitally enhanced. Nobody’s ribs [or legs or whatever] look like that,’ ” she says.

Contra Costa Times

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