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The Impact of the Beauty Industry on Young Girls

Cara is a mother of two young children and has taught second through fifth grade.

Painting nails is lots of fun!

Painting nails is lots of fun!

Obsession of Youth and Beauty

We live in a youth obsessed society. We cannot watch a TV show, enjoy a movie, walk through a store or read a magazine without seeing or hearing something about altering our face, bodies, or changing our style of dress in order to look younger or sexier.

We know that the beauty industry works hard at marketing to women, in particular, to alter their bodies into an image that is not realistic. We know that young girls are exposed to this on a daily basis, so how does this really affect their self-esteem and self-images that they hold for themselves?

Pressure of the Beauty Industry on Young Girls

From manicures to pedicures to highlights and plastic surgery, the beauty industry is a multi-billion dollar industry.

As a woman, and a parent of a young daughter, I am careful about what I say to my daughter and in front of her about beauty and self-image. But how do you control what is public?

The media inundates everyone with so much information and so many images, how do you control what your children take in each day? As a parent, I try to monitor what my children see on TV, but sometimes that just is not possible. So how, in this great over-stimulating society that we live in, do we raise girls with a healthy sense of self-worth?

I recently read an article in our local parent magazine that was about young girls becoming pampered princesses and how detrimental it is to them. One of the complaints was that the beauty industry now targets girls at such young ages to “improve their appearance.” The author claimed that Hello Kitty’s new nail polish/lip-gloss line and other well-known characters were targeting young girls to believe in the need to change them into something that they are not.

This really got me thinking about my own daughter and the activities that she participates in, as well as the shows she watches, and the clothes she wears. Am I feeding into this princess mentality of our young girls today?

Trying to be just like Mommy!

Trying to be just like Mommy!

Be Your Daughter's Role Model

After a lot of reflection about this, I decided that I am not.

One of the rites of passage for girls is painting their nails, playing with makeup, and dressing up in their mother’s clothes. All of these things are typical childhood activities for young girls.

My daughter, who is four, loves to have her finger and toenails painted. She adores it when the big girls in our neighborhood do her hair and put their play makeup on her. So why not have the makeup and nail polish with a character that they are familiar with and can identify? I do not believe that it is the nail polish or the character that is represented on the bottle that creates the problem. In my opinion, the problem lies within a lack of guidance that does this along with these things.

Mothers are their daughter’s first role models. This is part of discovering who we are and trying to find our place in the world as women. This is fine if you have a strong female role model from which to emulate yourself. But what happens if you don’t?

Unfortunately, there are many girls today that do not have strong female role models, so they turn to the television as their guide to living their lives and making important life choices.

Clothing Industries Crossing the Line

I do however believe that there are some things that are just inappropriate for young girls.

For example, there was some recent controversy about a push-up bathing suit for tweens sold by Abercrombie and Fitch. The argument was that this is creating a sexual image of seven and eight-year-old children and drawing attention to parts of their bodies that have not even developed yet. I happen to agree with this.

However, the power is in the parents' control. It is your choice to spend your dollars on this type of merchandise or not.

Self-image, Self-worth, Self-esteem

So what does it mean to have a positive self-image, a healthy sense of self-worth, and high self-esteem?

  • Self-image is the perception that one has of oneself.
  • Self-worth is the value that one places on oneself.
  • Self-esteem is a combination of these things along with the confidence that one has to have a strong, positive sense of oneself.

There are many external forces that create pressure on girls today. They even include the inner circle of your daughter's friends. Girls can be manipulative and caddy. If you do something to offend one of them, you are likely to see a very passive, manipulative transformation of what were once friends.

Building Positive Self Images

So how do we work to grow young girls into women with a strong sense of self that will lead them to have a positive, successful life?

  • Monitor the programs that your daughter watches. Make sure that your daughter is watching shows that show girls and women that are not overly focused on body image or that create a character that is ditsy and brainless.
  • Examine the role that you are modeling for your impressionable child. Do you talk about your dislike for your body in front of your daughter or talk about dieting? Try saying things like, “I’m exercising or eating __________ to keep my body healthy and strong.”
  • Encourage your daughter to participate in non-traditional girl activities. daughter to like and be good at math or science. Have her play a sport. Prompt her to do something that interests her, not just what is “cool.”
  • Have conversations with your daughter. You will never know what your daughter is thinking unless you ask her. Keeping communication lines open will help your daughter to feel safe in coming to you when she has a problem. Don’t be judgmental or it will shut her down. Help her to understand that it is normal to have some discomfort about changes that her body may be going through but that this is part of the normal cycle of life.
  • Be Honest. Talk honestly with your daughter. Whether it's during a tough conversation or when your child asks if her lopsided cake is beautiful, be honest. I think that many children have an overinflated ego today because no one tells them that they are not good at something. Everyone gets an award at the year-end banquets so that no one feels bad. I think that this is a great disservice to young people. The reality is that not everyone is good at everything. We can say it in a way that is kind, but honest as well.
  • Know your daughter's friends. Sometimes you will be able to head off a potential problem if you know who your daughter's friends are. If you notice that one or two girls, in particular, are not behaving in a positive way, you can talk with your daughter about what she is attracted to in those particular friends.
  • Help your child to have several circles of friends. Allow your child to have several circles of friends. This may be people at school, sports teams, church organizations, etc. That way if your daughter is having conflict with one group, she can always turn to another.
  • Role-play. Practice different scenarios of things that could happen in your daughter's social life. This is not just limited to sex, drugs, and alcohol. Practice how she would handle taunting and teasing about her looks, weight, or any other potential bullying

Media Images of Beauty

Growing up in today's society is very tough on young girls. The images that they receive in the media are often life-shaping for them. As adults, it is much easier for us to see how silly and unrealistic these images and expectations are, but for young girls, they are not often able to discern the difference. Dove's real beauty campaign is trying to change the way that the beauty industry impacts the lives of young girls. Although their campaign is admirable, it is a small drop in billion-dollar bucket that the beauty industry holds.

In my opinion, it is our job as parents not to vilify characters such as Hello Kitty, but to use our discretion as to what is best for our daughters.

Mothers, it is also our job to serve as positive role models for our daughters and to be there for them when they need us. Accept our girls for the uniqueness within them. Celebrate the beauty of our young girls, both inside and out.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.


cardelean (author) from Michigan on June 25, 2012:

I agree nmdonders. We need more companies to jump on board with them. Males also are affected by the beauty industry in ways that are much different than females but affected nonetheless. Thanks so much for your visit.

Nira Perkins on June 24, 2012:

Great hub. I think that the Dove Real Beauty campaign is such a huge step in the right direction. I wish that both females and males of all ages would learn to love their own beauty and uniqueness. I know it's particularily tough for young females. More literature such as this is needed. Great work!

cardelean (author) from Michigan on May 12, 2012:

Thanks so much ishwaryaa22 for your very thoughtful comments. It is very concerning the influences that the media and other outlets have on our children in general. It is important that we keep our conversations open and honest with our daughters and our sons. I appreciate the belated HOTD.

Ishwaryaa Dhandapani from Chennai, India on May 12, 2012:

A very thoughtful, wise and sensible hub! I totally agree with you as the beauty industry is growing and so is their influence on young girls which is not good! You spoke like the truly concerned mother. Your points are well-presented! Hats off to you! Belated Congrats on HOTD! Well-done!

Thanks for SHARING. Useful, Awesome & Interesting. Voted up.

cardelean (author) from Michigan on August 06, 2011:

Thanks Aunt Danette, I don't remember that. I guess this has been going on for a long time. I do think that it has gotten worse though with the plastic surgery and some of the other body altering that young girls do today. I'll check out the link, thanks.

Danette Watt from Illinois on August 05, 2011:

I remember back in the 90s reading about Christian Dior coming out with a bra and panties for little girls - I still have that clipping in my file somewhere but here's a link to it. Back then - as now - fashion designers, along with the media,were sexualizing little girls. I recommend reading this - I think it could be just as applicable today.

cardelean (author) from Michigan on August 01, 2011:

Thanks for commenting Michelle. I understand what you mean. I don't even wear lipstick on a daily basis! There are lots of important things in this world and those can be important but should not be what you base the decisions of your life on. You said it perfectly, balance.

cardelean (author) from Michigan on August 01, 2011:

Thanks DML. I agree that some of it is just innate. My daughter is very much a girly girl and I do not push that at all. She is into princesses and dress up clothes and the whole nine yards. I don't have a problem with all of that, I just want her to understand that it is not the end all be all and to accept herself for the beautiful person she is inside and out. Thanks so much for sharing your personal experiences. I appreciate your comments.

Michelle Canonica on July 31, 2011:

Excellent message. I have a daughter who is now in her mid-twenties. I have worried about this issue as well since the time she was a teen. It is so easy to send the message that a woman's primary worth is based on looks without even knowing it. I think it's important for us mothers to set good examples for our daughters by being interesting women who may take pride in their appearances and health, but care about other things as well. Women who have interests and opinions outside of what they're going to wear today and finding just the right shade of lipstick. Balance.

Liz Elias from Oakley, CA on July 31, 2011:

First, congratulations on making Hub of the Day! This was a very well-done article, indeed. The videos are great...kudos to Dove. (Even though I don't like their soap.) ;-)

It is a tough balance, and I do believe a lot of it is genetically linked. My daughters are adults with their own families, now, but when they were kids, they were as different as night and day. (Sorry for the cliché!)

The eldest was more interested in 'girly' stuff; had to have her hair 'just so,' and horrors if she should get her hands and or clothes dirty!

The younger was more like me: 'devil may care' attitude, mis-matched clothes; tried to force things together until they broke; took things apart; tomboy; holes in the knees of her pants; walking mudball!

I tried to allow them both sides of the toy coin--they had dolls, (a few, and I refused to allow the "Barbie" thing in the house)...but they also had erector sets and Lincoln Logs. I taught them how to check the oil & tire pressure on the car, even how to change the oil.

It mattered not. The eldest is still "miss priss;" her sister is a capable young woman, who can fix things if she needs to. They are who they are.

I'm no beauty, and I've never tried to be. In junior high and high school, I succumbed for a VERY short time to that sort of peer pressure, but soon learned I just was not interested in painting my nails or learning to set my hair...and make up? Pfft! Better things to do with my time. I had few friends; but what kind of "friends" don't accept you for who you are?

My feelings were hurt at times, but it eventually gave me a shell--now, I still don't do any of those things, and my attitude is, "If you don't like the way I look, you are free to look the other way."

These beauty ads and pressure campaigns make me sick! I'm glad to see someone else addressing this issue.

Voted up & useful!

cardelean (author) from Michigan on July 28, 2011:

Best of luck to you in that quest Psychicdog. Parenting is such a tough job but I believe that if you have the determination that you seem to, you will raise healthy, well adjusted daughters. Thanks so much for your comments. on July 28, 2011:

As a Dad with four girls I'm determined to make them see themselves as beautiful no matter what and think about what they like rather than need to think what will others like and try to create that - respect for others and oneself!

cardelean (author) from Michigan on July 26, 2011:

I concur R Talloni, it is very sad indeed. Thanks so much for reading and commenting.

What an amazing Mom that you have Lauren! I hope that as my daughter grows into a young adult, that she is able to say the same things.

You are very welcome Danielle. It is sometimes tough as a parent to find a balance between what is ok for play and what is unacceptable. The beauty industry can really twist things into a way that seems like it's really not so bad when it's setting girls up for problems in the future. Thanks for stopping by!

cardelean (author) from Michigan on July 26, 2011:

Wow Daffy, what an interesting point that you bring up. I have never thought of that before. You are probably right and it is a very sickening message. Thanks for your comments.

Thanks Hui. Glad you found it interesting.

Sounds like you did a great job of raising your daughter to be well rounded and secure in herself sync life. I will have to look into that lip gloss idea. Thanks so much for reading and sharing your experiences.

danielleantosz from Florida on July 26, 2011:

I agree that this is a very important topic! I see why you got hub of the day. I am 27 now, and my parents did not allow me to wear makeup (even play makeup, really). Thank you for writing this!!

Lauren!!!! on July 25, 2011:

So great! I'm 18 years old and my mom has always made sure that I understood that what is on tv, in magazines, etc. isn't "real" or how women "should look".

RTalloni on July 25, 2011:

Congrats on Hub of the Day! So glad to see this topic highlighted because it is so sad to see what is happening to girls at even the youngest ages.

sync life on July 25, 2011:

Great article! At first I wasn't sure how well balanced it was going to be but then getting into it was pleased to see a common sense approach. I too have a daughter in her alte teens. She has a good self acceptance/body image, given the pressure out there. She grew up with little TV and no regular girly mags just one or two. She grew out of them quickly. She chooses not to read or buy many magazines as she says , they make you feel less than good about yourself. We explained to her how so much is photoshopped and unreal so no use comparing yourself to a fantasy. Even the most beautiful have their wrinkles photoshopped out.

However, our girl loves art and makeup and has become a Professional Makeup Artist but with a balanced view of things.

You might be interested in an article about lip glosses targeted at teens, branded with alcohol names.

Hui (蕙) on July 25, 2011:

Great opinions, unique and insightful.

Daffy Duck from Cornelius, Oregon on July 25, 2011:

Here's a question. Shrek is very popular. Princess Fiona is very popular. Ogre Fiona is just as popular. Why isn't there an Ogre Fiona doll?

I've never been able to find one. She is just as loved as the other characters. It's pretty sickening to know there isn't one because Ogres aren't pretty. What a terrible message.

Freedom of Commerce., Freedom to warp their minds, freedom to make them feel bad if they don't measure up to the industries standard of beauty. The government allows this, and at the same time they claim to care.

cardelean (author) from Michigan on July 25, 2011:

Wow Mamelody, you are inflating my parent ego! Thanks for that really kind compliment. It really is sad to see what society deems valuable in today's world. Thanks so much for sharing your thinking.

Thanks Cheryl, I'm glad you found it useful. Some of my first hubs were not so great but you learn as time goes on. Welcome to Hubpages and thanks for reading and commenting.

I agree Paradise7. The media has such control over the way people think, act and believe these days. Hopefully we can rise above that and create a loving, caring society. Glad you took the time to read and comment.

cardelean (author) from Michigan on July 25, 2011:

Thanks AnkushKohli, I appreciate your comments. Awareness is very important.

Being a kid today is tough but I feel especially for young girls. The peer pressure that girls face along with the unreasonable images in the media are so hard for girls to deal with. As parents we must just continue to love and support our girls (and boys too!) while they are figuring all of this out. Thanks for reading and commenting Tina.

Yes sparklycrown, keeping the ego in check is also very important. Thanks for reading.

cardelean (author) from Michigan on July 25, 2011:

Oh Marellen, that Toddlers and Tiaras show just makes me sick to my stomach! It is a shame how they are so sensationalized. Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts.

What a touching compliment Gisele. I am sure that you will be a wonderful role model for your children when that time comes. I believe that educating yourself about important issues is key in raising healthy children. Glad you added your comments!

I am so sorry to hear that you had such struggles growing up AR. I don't think that growing up is easy in most cases but those circumstances make it exceptionally difficult. Thank you for sharing your personal struggles and I am glad to hear that you are in a good place now.

Paradise7 from Upstate New York on July 25, 2011:

Excellent hub; the message to young girls and their mothers is necessary and important. You are so right--we are inundated with this worship of female beauty and slenderness that it can seriously adversely affect a girl growing up, in her self-image, her self-esteem, her acceptance from her peers, and even her overall health and well-being.

cherylscott from US on July 25, 2011:

I really like the way you put this hub together. I am new to hubs and finally beginning to understand what a hub is as opposed to just an article.

cardelean (author) from Michigan on July 25, 2011:

Thanks Gail, it is a topic that is very dear to me because of having a young daughter and also with seeing some of the things that my girl students do and say when it comes to image. Thanks for your comments!

Susan, I think raising girls can be difficult but boys have their challenges too! It is a shame how much influence the media has over girls today. Thanks for your feedback.

Meet too Flora! They are such a positive influence on girls and young women. I don't understand the beauty pagents for young girls. It is really inappropriate in my opinion. Thank you for reading and commenting.

Mamelody on July 25, 2011:

If every parent was like you, this world would be a better place. I miss the days when girls were beautiful, full of life and didn't give a toss about sexiness. But now all girls dream about is being another Pamela Anderson or that thing called Jordan who is completely talentless and a waste of space. Excellent hub and voting it up too!

cardelean (author) from Michigan on July 25, 2011:

Thanks for your kind compliment Keeley! I have one of each so I know what you mean. I find that boys are harder earlier and then mellow a bit while girls are easier in the beginning and then get a little tougher. Thanks for your comment.

Swayam it is such a sad reality and makes it so much harder for girls to grow up "normal" these days. Thanks for reading.

It is so refreshing to hear women say that Applecsmith, thanks for sharing that. I hope that more young girls and women can say that same thing soon!

Of course you are biased Mom! But that's ok, I'll still take the compliment. :) No you didn't pamper us but the media and beauty industry has changed so much since then. Thanks for all of the support and encouragement! You know I appreciate it.

sparklycrown on July 25, 2011:

i dont think they should be so caught up in it and sooo snobby either!

Christina Lornemark from Sweden on July 25, 2011:

This is such a great hub on an important topic. It seems that no matter how hard we try to tell our girls that it isn't the end of the word if something isn't absolutely perfect it is like talking to the wall. They cant see how good looking they are, but we as parents can! Even though I am so grateful for the many opportunities that are available for women today and I am ever to thankful to the women that made it possible, but sometimes I think it is even harder now for young girls. They are supposed to be as tuff as the boys and do everything that boys or men can do and be good at schoolwork. But they have to look pretty like girls always have done while they do it! There are so many demands on girls today!

Thanks for this awesome hub and congrats on the hub of the day!


Ankush Kohli from India on July 25, 2011:

Nice hub for mom's of young girl. Agree that young girls need more attention than a small kid parents need to examine every article of them and guide . Congratulations on Hub of the Day

Mikal Smith from Vancouver, B.C. on July 25, 2011:

Like Gisele I am not a mother yet but my husband and I are planning to start a family soon. My youth was a rough one when it came to body image and I'm very nervous about having a girl and trying to lead her down the right path.

Being a young girl today is like navigating a mine field. There is pressure and taunts around every corner. I dealt with it by first trying hard to be anorexic and then gaining 60 lbs. I remember the humiliation of being jeered at in public for my weight.

I honestly don't know how I found the center. I'm at a healthy weight now and today I feel good about my body and who I am (most of the time) but I can't imagine watching my daughter go through that same struggle.

Fortunately it seems like many women are beginning to realize that these pressures and struggles are not a necessity. Hopefully our own enlightenment can help our daughters through adolescents.

This is such a great hub, I'm so glad it won hub of the day!

Voted up.

giselenmendez from Berlin, Germany on July 25, 2011:

I'm glad this is the Hub of the day. I'm not a mother yet but after being married for almost two years, my husband and I have discussed parenthood many times. Being a role model is not easy, specially when the ones who are looking up to you are your own kids, but it's important to share these concerns. I hope I will be a good mom, I'm happy to meet aware mothers I could look up to as a role model :)

marellen on July 25, 2011:

Well done. The show with the little girls dressing like twenty year olds and performing in pageants is dishearting. What is wrong with these Mothers...Trying to live through their little girls. Its so sad. Your hub was right-on....thank you for sharing it.

FloraBreenRobison on July 25, 2011:

I love Dove compaigns. The ultimate example of the beauty industry and fashion industry exploiting young girls is beauty pagents for children. Because she died, the most famous example of this is Jonbenet Ramsey. But that are many others. Congratulations on Hub of the Day

Susan Zutautas from Ontario, Canada on July 25, 2011:

Congrats on Hub Of The Day! What a fantastic article. Makes me glad that I had boys after reading this even though I did want a little girl :). Times and the media have sure changed the way that girls, teens and woman perceive themselves.

Gail Sobotkin from South Carolina on July 25, 2011:

Congratulations on the Hub of the Day Award. I'm glad you're calling attention to this ongoing issue and also providing many suggestions on how parents can help their daughters develop healthy self-esteem and self-image.

The media and our societal values definitely make this an uphill battle.

Denise Handlon from North Carolina on July 25, 2011:

Cara-I'm not sure how I missed reading this one, but it was very well written, as always. Your layout with the photos and videos breaking up the written points was also interesting.

I was a tomboy so that 'girly' gene skipped me and I know I didn't pamper you and your sister. But, it seems it was a bit different back then. I think as our media became more 'up close and personal' the impact of acceptable and in became more important. As you mention-just look at the reality shows.

You are an awesome mom and the very fact that you are reflecting on this as a concern for your own daughter and the need for a positive role model is testimony to that. Don't worry-from an outside observation you are a great role model-well grounded and accepting of who you are and where you are at in the moment.

Congrats on the awesome hub-rated up and across; and the 'daily hub' choice. It was a very appropriate choice-but then I'm biased, LOL

Carrie Smith from Dallas, Texas on July 25, 2011:

Congratulations on making the Hub of the Day! I enjoyed reading this and completely agree with your views. My mom was a great example for me growing up, and I feel I have a pretty balanced view of myself and what real beauty is.

Thanks for sharing!

swayam on July 25, 2011:

We know that the beauty industry works hard at marketing to women in particular to alter their bodies into an image that is not realistic

Keeley Shea from Norwich, CT on July 25, 2011:

You write great articles! Glad I have boys but they come with their issues too!!!

cardelean (author) from Michigan on July 25, 2011:

So true Les Trois Chenes. Although this hub focuses and images that affect young girls, there is an unfortunate reality that boys are now following the same trend and now have higher rates of eating disorders and other body/self-esteem issues. Thanks so much for reading and commenting.

Thanks Kittythedreamer. You can still write a hub about the same topic, there are lots of "duplicates," just with a different angle. I think that there are so many girls that still find their ideas about women and self image through those same sources as you did as a child. It is our job as parents to change this trend. Thanks so much for your support.

Kitty Fields from Summerland on July 25, 2011:

cardelean - I voted up and awesome! Absolutely phenomenal hub, great advice and honest parenting. I've always wanted to write a hub about this topic, but you did it first...and probably WAY better than I could have! I have a three year old daughter, and I am already trying to instill these values and self esteem in her that I did not truly have as a little girl. I learned a lot of what females should be like by watching the TV and from other girls in my class that were lacking in self esteem, as well. It is truly critical to our daughters, and to the future of society, that we be leaders that they can follow by EXAMPLE not by the "do as I say, not as I do" method. I adore and admire you for this hub. Keep it up!

Les Trois Chenes from Videix, Limousin, South West France on July 25, 2011:

For those who feel that the goals of feminism have been achieved, just look at the number of women who are unhappy about their bodies and the number that resort to surgery in order to try to attain a look that is simply not natural. I can't see that there should be any difference between how boys and girls should look and are brought up - clean, happy, healthy, fit and, above all, look after your bodies as they have to look after you for life.

cardelean (author) from Michigan on July 20, 2011:

Simone, that does not surprise me at all about you. From what I have seen and learned about you through HP, you seem like a very well rounded, self-confident women who has her own interests and doesn't tend to follow the crowd. All very wonderful qualities (in my opinion!)

I do believe that you are right though. There is nothing wrong with girly things and I have a very girly daughter. But we must make our girls aware that they need to be ok with their bodies/appearances and not want to change them to "fit in." Thanks for your insightful comments.

Thanks so much for your feedback Krazikat. I totally agree with you. I try very hard to get inside my daughter's head when she has an interest in things that I think are inappropriate for young girls. I try to find out where she sees/hears it from and why she thinks it's so great. That way we can have a conversation about it. I feel like if I yell or talk "negative" about things like that it will create a covert curiosity and shut off the lines of communication. Thanks so much for reading!

Ophelia Madden from Pacific Northwest on July 20, 2011:

You bring up so many good points and parents really need to pay attention! As a mother of two girls myself, I find myself often surprised, shocked, and even angry by what is being promoted to our kids. Consider everything that is marketing to them: the music, the clothing, the makeup, the push up bras for tweens, the daisy duke shorts, etc. Very well written, great job!

Simone Haruko Smith from San Francisco on July 20, 2011:

What a great Hub this is! To be honest, my youth was pretty devoid of any girly things... I never got my nails painted, never had my hair done (except when my mum braided it up, which I loved), and never wore lipgloss or makeup. Fashion magazines were entirely out of the picture. And I really think I was better off for it!

That said, all that girly stuff really is fun- it doesn't have to be poisonous to one's self-esteem, and I'm glad that you advocate embracing such lovely things in moderation. That must certainly be the ideal way to go.

Thanks for sharing your sage advice and good tips!

fashion on July 15, 2011:

This is a wonderful hub! Many parents will take your suggestions for their young girls.

cardelean (author) from Michigan on July 14, 2011:

I hope so too Pamela. It is a fine line in being a parent that is over involved and not involved enough. Hopefully parents will parent with love and intuition to make solid and sound decisions regarding what's best for their daughters and children in general. Thanks for reading and commenting.

Pamela Oglesby from Sunny Florida on July 14, 2011:

This is an excellent hub and I hope many parents with young daughters read it and take your suggestions to heart. Voted up and awesome.

cardelean (author) from Michigan on July 14, 2011:

Thank you AspiringNewMoms. You are right, society is very tough on girls. I agree with you about the importance of a strong female role model for boys as well. But that is for another hub! :) Thanks so much for your comments.

AspiringNewMoms on July 14, 2011:

This is a wonderful hub! Society is so tough on girls. You are exactly right. The active role of the parents is essential. I think it is also important for boys to have a confident and secure mom in their lives. Voting this up!

cardelean (author) from Michigan on July 13, 2011:

What a wonderful mother you are to your daughters! That was (in my opinion) the perfect response to what she said. My daughter also is a very girly girl with the dresses and nail polish, etc. But she does like to get down and dirty with the boys too. You are right that it is a tough balance but we need to keep striving for this! Thanks for your wonderful addition to the hub.

Robin Edmondson from San Francisco on July 13, 2011:

This Hub is so timely. Our five year old was getting dressed in her gymnastics leotard this morning and said, I think I'm getting skinnier. I looked at her with a funny face and she giggled. I said, "You are absolutely perfect they way that you are and your job is to grow and be healthy and happy. The most important thing is that you are kind and loving."

She is going to be the one that is the most affected by image, as she loves clothes and girly stuff. Luckily, her older sister is more sporty, and she looks up to her. I just know with her that I'm going to have to be aware of how she sees herself. It is going to be a challenge finding the balance between doing the things she enjoys, like nails, hair, clothes, and feeling good about who she is regardless of these things.

Thank you for the insightful Hub!