The Courier-Mail - QWeekend

LOVE THEIR BODIES

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WE NEED TO MAKE A CONSCIOUS DECISION TO DO EVERYTHING WE CAN TO STOP OUR GIRLS LEARNING TO HATE AND MISTRUST THEIR BODIES

on the street. Despite this, we spend way more time worrying about and preparing our daughters for the minuscule threat of stranger danger than we do for the more likely threat of eating disorders.

Your daughter’s body image is one of the biggest factors that will determine whether or not she likes herself and if she will live a good life. In severe cases, body image could mean the difference between life and death. But your daughter doesn’t need to develop an eating disorder to be seriously affected by a poor body image. A poor body image can influence every aspect of your daughter’s life: her mental health, her physical health, her self-esteem, her relationsh­ips, her profession­al ambition, and even her finances.

The amount of money that many young women feel they need to spend on beauty treatments just to be considered acceptable has the potential to keep them poor. Finance expert Pete Wargent calculated that what young women spend on “basic beauty services” equates to $14,000 a year.

“Let’s say you invested that money in the stock market and achieved net returns of about 7 to 8 per cent over time,” says Wargent, author of Wealth Ways for the Young: What the rich are teaching their kids about money today. “That could see you with a balance rapidly swelling towards $250,000 over about a decade.” Even if the young women put the money they would normally spend on fake eyelashes, spray tans, laser and injectable­s into a term deposit, they could have a six-figure nest egg in about six years, Wargent says. This figure does not even include beauty products such as makeup and serums. It also doesn’t include the cost of cosmetic surgery, where women’s body hatred drives them to quite literally risk their lives with non-essential medical procedures.

Younger girls are increasing­ly concerned about their bodies. Among young Australian­s, concern about body image is one of the top four issues kids worry about. (The other three concerns are coping with stress; school or study problems; and mental health).

A poor body image is a precursor to serious social, medical and mental health issues

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