How to Teach Girls about Inner Beauty

May 4, 2023 12:00:00 PM

Written By:
DaVinci Healthcare Expert

girls inner beauty

Across cultures, girls of all ages are complimented on their physical appearance. On an interpersonal and societal level, this focus on outer beauty can have a profound and negative effect on girls’ self-esteem throughout their lives.

Fortunately, many women have come a long way in achieving self-confidence, professional freedom, and personal fulfillment. Respecting others, enriching your communities, and prioritizing your health and wellness are increasingly valued as more beautiful than trendy makeup or hair.

With all this progress underway, we must make sure to pass this wisdom on to our daughters.

How Are Girls Today Developing Their Ideas about Beauty?

Around the world and through the centuries, cultural priorities have shaped the norms that drive beauty and fashion. Trying to keep up with the ever-changing rules for contouring your cheekbones can be as tricky as tying a corset was in the Victorian Era.

No matter where you are in the world, beauty was likely dictated to you from a very young age. Individuals, especially women and girls, are not entirely free to develop their own ideas of what looks appealing or what feels empowering.

Instead, many find themselves on a hamster wheel, constantly chasing the next beauty trend from season to season. By following fads and trends, girls often don’t learn what they truly like or how to lean into their natural beauty.

While it’s not always easy, parents today must realize that girls are bombarded with unrealistic beauty ideals, especially now that social media and the internet are ubiquitous in almost every community.

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6 Factors Influencing Girls’ Concept of Beauty

In our overly connected society, girls face constant messages about beauty. While some messages are direct and obvious, others can be harder for parents to anticipate and intercept.

  1. Corporate Media. From lewd magazines to scantily clad news anchors, print and television media has been shaping our views on beauty for decades. The constant barrage of so-called “perfection” tends to lower self-esteem and self-confidence of its audiences. One study found “a group of girls who watched television frequently and indiscriminately reported the most severe drop in body satisfaction.”[1]
  2. Social Media. Much like the 24/7 news cycle bombards adults with directives on what to worry about next, glittering social media is always within girls’ reach, ripe with photos highlighting narrow and unrealistic standards of beauty. Filters, pre-sets, and other forms of editing deplete self-esteem and distort body image, further blurring the line between fantasy and reality.
  3. Cultural Norms. When society as a whole seems to prefer thin waists, tiny numbers on the scale, and gaunt, angular facial features, girls who don’t fit the bill can feel like outcasts. It’s difficult or impossible to conform to physical standards of beauty when they don’t match up with your own measurements.
  4. Gender Bias. Many girls have grown up in a swirl of well-meaning comments that subconsciously favor men. Back-handed compliments like “You throw pretty good, for a girl,” or “I wish I could sit home with the kids all day lead to feelings of inferiority and a lack of confidence.
  5. Beauty Industry. When most commercials and ads are pushing anti-aging creams and lash boosting serums, girls may develop a sense that they need to alter their appearance and reject the natural aging process. 
  6. Female Role Models. How women speak about their own body shape, facial features, or makeup strategies impacts how a girl will scrutinize or accept her own. If her mom is casually talking about lip fillers, botox, and liposuction, she is less likely to think her own features are beautiful without invasive interventions.

With constant exposure to these influencing factors, it’s important for parents to have open discussions with girls about their assumptions of beauty. Setting limits on screen time, restricting access to unsafe websites, and limiting social media to family and close friends can be helpful.

What is Inner Beauty?

Instead of focusing on outward signs of physical beauty, adults should teach and model inner beauty to young girls.

Inner beauty comprises a person’s character traits and behaviors, consisting of virtues that shine from the inside out into the world. If a person is kind, compassionate, empathetic, and generous, they exude a meaningful type of beauty that leaves a more lasting impact.

Honest, caring individuals with integrity and a spirit of service to mankind are admired and respected. These beautiful features never fade with age and develop more richly over time.

Physical beauty can be pleasing to the eye, but it is usually temporary, fleeting, or superficial. While it’s important to practice good hygiene and take care of your physical body, it’s just as important to cultivate your inner beauty.

5 Ways to Teach Girls about Inner Beauty

It’s never too late to influence a girl’s perspective on the merits of inner beauty. No matter her age, change can happen, for the better. We cannot erase the images a girl may have seen in the past, nor delete the comments she’s overheard, but we can shape her future ideas about true beauty.

Ideally, the next generation of girls can grow up with a healthy attitude about body image, physical attractiveness, and inner beauty. Here are our top five ways to teach girls about the value of cultivating inner beauty.

  1. Lead by example. Take a day without makeup, or prioritize supplements for healthy skin instead of toxic chemical peels.* Modeling healthy attitudes about balanced diets, fun exercises, and the natural aging process sets solid foundations for a lifetime of realistic self-image and positive self-esteem.
  2. Focus on character strengths. Find a girl’s best traits, from helpfulness to leadership, and fan those fires. Catch them offering to help a friend with hard homework, hanging back to help the new kid get their bearings, or making a chore chart for their younger siblings. Praise them for these beautiful virtues instead of their physical attributes.
  3. Celebrate diversity. Exposing girls to many healthy body shapes, skin and hair colors, and cultural ways of accessorizing can open their eyes to a world of possibilities. Embrace creativity, exploration, and getting out of the mainstream norms of fashion and beauty.
  4. Challenge societal standards. Have open, honest conversations about unrealistic portrayals of women in the media. Discuss how filters change the appearance of bone structure and eye shape and how this can warp young people’s perceptions of themselves.
  5. Encourage self-care. Beauty can be cultivated internally and externally, and adopting a healthy lifestyle is the first step toward achieving this balance. Girls can get accustomed to therapeutic massage or acupuncture sessions instead of manicures and pedicures. By prioritizing themselves and their wellness, girls develop a sense of self-worth that is not tied to external validation.



Comparison truly is the thief of joy. Instead of leading our girls down a path toward unnatural, impossible standards of physical appearance, we should learn to help them cultivate an appreciation for inner beauty.

Modeling healthy self-confidence and self-esteem is the most powerful tool we have in shifting the conversation with our girls. Instead of trying the newest makeup hack on TikTok, we can make chicken soup together and deliver it to the new mom down the street.

As we consider the responsible use of photo filters, makeup, and clothing trends, we encourage a realistic balance between physical appearance and inner beauty. As adults, our main responsibility is to ensure the next generation is happy, healthy, and a beautiful force in the world—from the inside out.


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[1] Schooler, D., & Trinh, S. (2011). Longitudinal associations between television viewing patterns and adolescent body satisfaction. Body image, 8(1), 34–42.

*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.