Parenting these days is an extremely challenging job. But as challenging as it is, it seems the job of just being a kid these days seems to push our kids to the limit. I noticed my daughter dealing with more and more self-image issues the closer that she came to her teen years. No matter how often I told her that she was an amazing and beautiful young lady, she increasingly struggled with concerns about her weight and how she looked. I am very familiar with this subject because almost every single person that comes to my studio struggles with some aspect of how they see their face or body. It is nearly impossible to convince someone with a poor body image that they are amazing and beautiful just by talking; to some degree for so many of us “Seeing is believing” and as they say a picture is worth a thousand words. It broke my heart that already at only 11 and 12 years old she felt overweight and unattractive so I set out to change her mind. I thought if my photography could empower and help my 30-60-year-old subjects begin to see their own beauty that I could quite possibly create a strong enough visual image that would change the way my daughter sees herself. So another year later at 13, she is entering her teenage years a bit more self-confident and with a bit more poise… and of course as beautiful as ever as you can see in the photo above.
If you have a tween or teen that is struggling with their self-image, I am not suggesting that a photography session would change everything but it could definitely give them a new perspective and self-confidence. Ultimately it will take a persistent insistence of positivity and encouragement and creative parenting to win the culture war on our kid’s minds. The goal is to find a creative way to allow them to demonstrate to themselves how amazing they truly are! Make sure to purposefully feed their minds with life-giving advice and give them opportunities to exercise their abilities and gifts. Giving our kids the opportunity to work through these issues together with us as a team is a great way to take their focus off of self-critique and discover the freedom of being themselves.