She needs you to be her defender against shame, not her perpetrator.
Dear Selfie-Mocking Dads of the Internet,
You love your daughter immensely, and you're unquestionably her biggest cheerleader. Seated in the front row of every game and concert since she was a little girl, you have been her greatest example of what a stellar male role model looks like. The level of respect she demands from her relationships today is a direct result of your wonderful parenting.
So, why is it that you, a kind, supportive father, find mocking your daughter's selfies for the entire world to be an acceptable joke?
As a father to a daughter, you've surely witnessed how tortuous it is to navigate our world as a young woman.
We are encouraged to think "body-positive" thoughts, but are shamed if we feel positive enough about our own bodies to overtly display them. We're encouraged to explore our interests, but told that any interest perceived as being feminine is inherently stupid or vain.
In short, being a young woman in today's world can feel a bit like being trapped inside a vortex of judgment, where no choice is really the "right" choice. That vortex is precisely why she needs you, her dad, to be her defender against shame, not her perpetrator.
If you're uncomfortable with the nature of the content your daughter is posting, please remember that a private conversation is always better than public humiliation. Don't let your daughter think that a laugh from strangers on the internet means so much to you that you would joke at her expense to get it.
And please always remain the loudest cheerleading voice in a crowd of people rooting against her. Your approval means more than you know.
With love and respect,
This article was originally published at PopSugar Moms. Reprinted with permission from the author.