, the new MTV/Nickelodeon venture, recently pursued Charlene for advice parents can give teen girls who are having problems with body image and self-image. Read on for fun, creative, and female insight on how to give your teen girl added confidence and empowerment!

Q: I notice my teenage daughter is starting to criticize the way she looks and always compares herself to her friends. How can I get her to stop being so hard on herself?

A: With what the media fires away at us daily, it’s no wonder we grow up thinking we need perfect bodies. Consider the way Madison Avenue has convinced us to use cosmetics to enhance our natural beauty, dress to get noticed, and even have plastic surgery if our body parts don’t seem to compare to women we see on the screen. Remind your daughter these types of people are a miniscule percentage of what the human race really looks like – and people selected to “represent” what is beautiful and what isn’t waxes and wanes with fickle public opinion. Unfortunately, these icons of popularity sell more products – everything to real estate, food, cars, and even happiness.

First of all, tell grasshopper that women are naturally hairy, hippy, biologically designed to carry the next generation inside us, and our brains are supposed to have 33% more neuronal fibers than men – suggesting that our left side of the brain (logical analytical, task oriented) and right side (the intuited, holistic) talk more easily to each with compared with men. Translation: women are great multi-taskers, manage complexity well, and are terrific at seeing the whole enchilada of life. And hips really are terrific. Your job: keep pointing out what women do well and aim for powerful facts and metaphors. Pretty soon it’ll sink in that Woman is Wonderous… no matter the size, shape, or how adorned.

Q: There doesn’t seem to be a lot of positive role models of women in the media for my teenage daughter to emulate (or me, for that matter!) How can I seek out older women who might inspire both of us?

A: Helping teen girls develop confidence today needs to be a creative and thoughtful exercise. Unplug from the media and go to a resource like bookstores and museums and show her what powerful ancient women used to aspire to. In many egalitarian communities, women not only ruled the roost but ran the temples, local politics, and were greatly respected priestesses and healers. Sound crazy? Delve into the history books on women’s religion when women shared the dais with male and how archeological findings produced many more images of female deity than male gods.

Have a look at modern day culture by revisiting the past. I always say when we stop expanding our parameters on culture, philosophy, science, art, and all aspects of our worldly experience, past and present, our ideas become very small. We are limiting our perspective and then bothered by things that don’t really matter. Think outside the box and always trust her to develop her own role models. Keep broadening her thoughts about what a woman can be and do. Spend some time at the Louvre (or on the internet!) looking at The Goddess Athena, Venus of Willendorf, or Diana of Ephesus. These images (and mythologies) knock her socks off. Know that no matter what age, we can always find strong (and statuesque) leaders to inspire us.

© The Goddess Network, Inc. and Charlene M. Proctor, Ph.D. 2007. All Rights Reserved. See for more empowering thoughts for women! Register for The E-Show, a series of enlightening lectures!

Author's Bio: 

Dr. Charlene M. Proctor is the founder of The Goddess Network, Inc. an on-line educational resource for topics on spirituality, relationships, and women's studies. Author of Let Your Goddess Grow! she is a researcher and educator in the field of women's empowerment and develops self-empowerment strategies for women in all walks of life. She is a subject matter expert for, the world's largest self-help and personal growth website. Her affirmations from The Women's Book of Empowerment reach 2.7 million web visitors daily. She currently facilitates the PATH to Empowerment program for Lighthouse Path in Michigan, a residential women's shelter for homeless mothers, teaching them how to cope with life and increase self-esteem and confidence. To learn more, visit

Additional Resources covering Positive Thinking can be found at:

Website Directory for Positive Thinking
Articles on Positive Thinking
Products for Positive Thinking
Discussion Board
Charlene M. Proctor, Ph.D., Official Guide on Positive Thinking