What your daughter needs to know about her body

By Victoria Silk | Wild Women On Top Member

Having recently given birth to a baby girl, my mind has often wandered back to a conversation I had during trek training with one of the girls late last year. I remember the session, the weather, where we were, and the conversation even then, struck me as poignant.

I was in my first trimester.

The dialogue went something along the lines of us bemoaning the amount of time we had spent during our teens, twenties and we hate to admit, a proportion of our thirties, wishing our bodies to be something they are not. Whether that ‘thing’ be taller, slimmer, curvier, it didn’t matter, it just seemed to be an imposed longing that eroded away our appreciation of what we did have, with the effect of making us self-conscious and hesitant.

But here we were on this beautiful day, invigorated, sweaty and radiant from trek training, marveling at how confident we now felt in our physicality. And it had nothing to do with being taller, slimmer or curvier.

Why, as women, does it often take us until our late thirties and beyond to love our bodies for their strength and health?

Why do we spend precious energy and attention on unreal expectations, fad diets, and negative self-body image?

The member in question is me, a mother, hoping for something different for her daughter.

The thought that for one minute my girl would not love the skin she’s in, or suffer any of the angst and self-consciousness that so many of us go through, is horrifying to me. That she would resent or punish her body as many women do is unimaginable and distressing.

We went on to talk about how being strong and fit, being able to walk, talk and carry, to lift and stretch and physically exert ourselves without embarrassment, is what now empowers us and makes us love our bodies. How can we pass this on to our daughters and younger generations of women?

Step one is to practice loving our own health, physical and mental wellbeing above our appearances. In doing this, at any age, we send the most powerful message we can to our children and indeed everyone around us. We exert love for ourselves and self-confidence and with that -  beauty.

This is contagious, or so I have experienced, amongst Wild Women. A late night swim after Trek Training in a beautiful moonlit rock pool, stripped down to our underwear, proved this. What started as a reluctance to seize the moment due to inhibition and self-consciousness turned into a thing of exuberance, joy and beauty as one by one these inhibitions were let go and the experience embraced – ‘how could we have considered passing that opportunity up’ is what we all later reflected.

How many of these golden opportunities have we passed up previously due to self-consciousness and doubt?

What I wish for my daughter is freedom from false and shallow ideas of what her body should be. I want her to strive for health, strength and well-being with the body and mind she has been given.

What better gift can we impart to our daughters than this?

She has after all shown me a new respect for my own body and its capabilities with her appearance in this world and I hope, over the years, to return the favour!

Want to be inspired? Sign up to our newsletter.

Share this page

Latest news

73333410_10156820635558176_1907419208359084032_n.jpg
When the immediate emergency has passed and our beautiful homeland has stopped burning, we need to take some time to grieve, re-set ourselves and then begin to renew our goals, with a productive and positive mindset overlaid with the new filter of a climate changed world. Here are some ways to turn your guilt and sadness into positive action.
icecream.jpg
If you love to enjoy the sticky, delicious sweetness of a big, ole bowl of ice cream, we feel you. Us too. We wanted to try a more nourishing version that satisfies our sweet tooth and gives us our daily dose of fruit, and this recipe is a winner!
Koala.jpg
Celebrating when such a huge environmental crisis is unfolding in Australia just hasn’t felt right. The pain of knowing how many homes, animals and forests have been destroyed has been intense. Seeing so many people in our communities struggling with the force of these fires has been deeply stressful and exhausting. Now it's time for us to pause and recognise the grief and pain which has marked the beginning of 2020.
BoostWellbeingHERO
In times like this, it's important to make sure we're giving ourselves the care we need to remain hopeful, productive and strong. Here are ten simple ways you can immediately improve your wellbeing today.
desk_yoga.jpg
Stretching and gentle movement is a great way to support a healthy, happy spine – even while you’re sitting – so we asked our in-house yoga teacher/marketing specialist Donna for her favourite desk stretches to relieve shoulder, neck and back stiffness.