Teen Girls: Social Anxiety, Beauty, & Body Image (Part 2 of 2).

Girls are becoming more self-conscious about their body image at an earlier age. They are bombarded by posts on social media that can make them feel that they are not beautiful.

In my previous blog, I shared some thoughts about beauty. These thoughts are foundational for having a discussion about body image. In particular,

Today, I want to take some time to share with you where I think things go awry. Specifically, I want to discuss social anxiety as it relates to your body image.

As a reminder, when someone experiences social anxiety, they are fearful of

  • experiencing embarrassment
  • being judged/negatively evaluated
  • having their social status, role or behavior being negatively affected

BODY IMAGE & ANXIETY

Early in my career as a licensed psychologist, I worked for nearly a decade specializing in treating young ladies who had eating disorders. During this time, I noticed that for my clients the themes that kept coming up for those with eating and body image issues were:

  • Boundary lines being crossed (emotionally, mentally, &/or physically)
  • Overburdened with demands & expectations (both internal & external)
  • Difficulty dealing with change (in body appearance, size, chemistry; in family & social circles, etc.)
  • Yearnings for a sense of control and stability

Each of these B.O.D.Y.™ Themes can contribute to someone developing and/or experiencing some level of social anxiety.

YOU. YOUR MOM. YOUR MENSES.

The theme I want to hone in on for a moment is the area of: changes in appearance, size and body chemistry (e.g. hormones). If you’re a pre-tween, tween, or an about-to-be teen girl, I want to ask you a question:

Has your mom had ”The Talk” with you?

Not the “birds and the bees” talk.

I’m referring to the talk about menstrual cycles.

If your mom has talked with you about your menstrual cycle, then how’d that talk go? Do you still have any questions?

If your mom has not yet had “The Talk” with you, or if the talk she did have left you with more questions than answers, or if it left you feeling confused or “feeling some kinda way,” then I’d encourage you to ask her to talk with you again so that you can get more clarity and understanding.

TO EVERYTHING THERE IS A SEASON…OF CHANGE.

Do know that, while difficult at times,

Change is an awesome thing!

Change is a time for growth that leads to a new state of potential and opportunities ahead. It’s also a time for “shedding” those things that are not helpful, or that are growth inhibiting. And as you go through changes, you have the opportunity to decide which of those growth-inhibiting things you will need to put aside or get rid of altogether.

When it comes to your body changing to become a menstruating being, the change signifies the beginnings of new potential. That potential is one in which you can

  • conceive, bear, and give birth to another life (a baby)
  • blossom into a fuller version of your beautiful self

It definitely can be hard to undergo all the change when

  • your social circles are growing/changing,
  • your academic demands are increasing, and
  • your family dynamics shifting and sorting themselves

CHANGE ALL AROUND

Yes, I did mention your family. Change is also happening with and within your family and family members, too. (Whoah! There’s a whole lotta changing going on!)

And on top of all that, your own body is changing…

  • in body chemistry causing pimples to pop up.
  • in weight weighing on you
  • with hairs (underarm and pubic) filling out

That’s a ton to deal with in and of itself.

WHAT TO DO WITH THE CHANGE

So, what’s a young tween/teen girl to do to deal with these inevitable changes and not succumb to developing anxiety about her body?

I would recommend that you #PauseToConsider and attend to every aspect of your B.O.D.Y. by:

  • Believing that your beauty is one-of-a-kind
  • Owning your uniqueness in one area of your body
  • Deciding to just “do you” remembering that your being is the doing.
  • Y – determine your bigger “why” and keep that focal to your life.

Remember:

Your being is the doing.

There is only one you. You were born for a special reason!

Seek to discover that reason. #PauseToConsider your B.O.D.Y. and this will help you keep everything in better perspective.

After all, if “beauty is in the eyes of the beholder,” then let that “beholder” be you!

WANT MORE…encouragement, insights, and strategies to help you during your season of change? Then check out, listen to, and download Episode # 205 of Mother Daughter Connections® on Spotify or Apple iTunes.

LOOKING FOR HELP? Then just SCHEDULE a Quick Consult Call** with me. I’m in your corner and here to help

**Quick Consult Calls are a fee-based service.

This podcast and blog, its concepts and content are the copyrighted and owned material of Dr. Michelle Deering and Curative Connections® – ©Dr. Michelle Deering & ©Curative Connections LLC. Trademarked material is owned by Dr. Michelle Deering &/or Curative Connections® LLC. No materials (including but not limited to the) concepts and content expressed in this material or production, in part or in whole, may be copied and/or (re)distributed in any form or medium without the expressed written consent of the aforementioned owner(s). | All rights reserved.

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