It's no fun when your daughter is skinny!

​Like ever mother, I have always wanted the best for my daughters. I want to make sure they grow up with their self-esteem attached and their minds open to possibilities. But we can’t protect our children from what happens outside of the home and nor should we, because that is where they are tested and learn to shape who they are and what they are about. It is such a challenge when someone says something at school that upsets them, or a situation occurs that they are finding difficult to deal with, we often just want to step in and solve it for them, don’t we? But as we know, that teaches them nothing.

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Aug 28, 2016
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Bronte - now 19

Like ever mother, I have always wanted the best for my daughters. I want to make sure they grow up with their self-esteem attached and their minds open to possibilities. But we can’t protect our children from what happens outside of the home and nor should we, because that is where they are tested and learn to shape who they are and what they are about. It is such a challenge when someone says something at school that upsets them, or a situation occurs that they are finding difficult to deal with, we often just want to step in and solve it for them, don’t we? But as we know, that teaches them nothing.

Bronte my eldest, now at university, had a challenging time in year 10 at school; it wasn’t typical and I don’t see many people talking about it, so I thought it was about time I put my pen to paper so to speak. You see, Bronte got low-level bullying because she was skinny. She was always a rake of a child, never ate much and was just always long. I remember when she was born, the nurses commented how long she was and how her feet looked like flippers. It has never really bothered her though; she eats what she wants and pretty much never thinks about it – that was until year 10.

She had decided to become healthier with her food and started to eat more protein and salads over sandwiches and cut chocolate and crisps out of her diet, not that there was a lot in there anyway. This all seems like a positive move, right? Wrong! This sudden denial of the odd Malteser or the “rabbit food “in her lunchbox had her friends constantly questioning whether she had a problem with food, to which she became super-annoyed. The annoyance turning to upset when her teacher questioned her, as people had commented that they were worried she has anorexia!

What? I for one was furious!

I convinced the teacher that this was most certainly not the case and that healthy eating was a far cry from a debilitating psychological disease. But her friend’s constant comments and jibes continued. She went through every possible emotion in a few short weeks, eventually culminating with me asking her, as I always do, “What do you want to do about it?” She thought for a while and investigated for a while and then proudly claimed that she wanted to enter a modelling competition. After I spat my teeth out across the kitchen table I asked her why. She said, “Well, if I am naturally thin, I may have to make the most of it and anyway, you always say that we should do the thing that scare us the most and this scares me so much, I want to take on the challenge”.

And that she did; she entered, got through to the final and walked down a catwalk in a bikini and four inched heels in front of a room full of people. The journey to get her there was full of ups and downs, but the end result was phenomenal and since that date she has never had a body image issues again.

I mean, it seems so counter intuitive, doesn’t it?

Entering your daughter in a model completion so that she can get over her body image issues, but that is what happened, that is what we did and it worked.

In fact, she was inspired by it so much that her first novel, is loosely based upon her story. Bronte wants to inspire other girls like her to know that they can do anything too, if they put their minds to it.


Go to the profile of Sarah Newton

Sarah Newton

Author, Speaker and Youth Coach

Sarah Newton has shared her innovative wisdom with millions who have tuned into her TV and Radio shows, followed her writing and listened to her unconventional talks. She has been described as a catalyst, daring all she meets to break out from social norms and follow their own path. She has worked in youth empowerment for over 30 years, first as a police officer and then eventually running her own business, via a stint at Disney World in Florida. Sarah has a no-nonsense, down-to-earth approach to solving most youth-associated problems, based on tactics that work, not rhetoric out of a book. She often is the only one in the room to stand by her viewpoint and tends to think the opposite from everyone else. Star of ITV’s “My Teen’s A Nightmare, I’m Moving Out” and author of “Help! My Teenager is an Alien – the everyday situation guide for parents”, Sarah has just teamed up with her daughter to write a novel to help girls with their body image issues, she has also written for The Guardian, The Huffington Post and the Daily Mail. Sarah also sits on the UK board of the Arbonne Charitable Foundation and is an ambassador for Girls Out Loud.

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