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Sex, Gender, and Body Image

My tween cares a lot about how she looks in photos. What should I do?

It's OK to want to look good in a picture. But obsessing over your image and feeling the need to always be "camera-ready" can be self-destructive. In a national study of teenagers, Common Sense Media found that, out of the 75 percent of teens who had a social network profile, 35 percent reported having worried about people tagging them in unattractive photos; 27 percent reported feeling stressed out about how they look when posting pictures; and 22 percent reported feeling bad about themselves if nobody comments on or "likes" the photos they post.

Review the websites, apps, and other social media your daughter is using. See what kinds of photos she and her friends are posting and what the tone of the comments is. Dig a little bit to find out what's going on socially and how photos figure into her social group. And make yourself available to talk about these things, even if she says she doesn't want to.

Observe her behavior. Is she the same kid, only with a little more adolescent-appropriate anxiety over peer validation? Or are her self-esteem, self-confidence, and self-image really suffering? If it's the latter, take measures to reduce her stress.