New Article: Maor and Cwikel, Mothers’ Strategies to Strengthen Their Daughters’ Body Image

Maor, Maya, and Julie Cwikel. “Mothers’ Strategies to Strengthen Their Daughters’ Body Image.” Feminism & Psychology (early view; online first).


URL: http://dx.doi.og/10.1177/0959353515592899



Existing studies of the mother–daughter relationship have focused mainly on the transfer of negative body image messages or on risk of eating disorders, and have paid little attention to how this relationship might serve as a resource for building body-acceptance or resilience to disordered eating. On the basis of a secondary analysis of four qualitative samples, we examined how mothers and their now-adult daughters reflect on the ways in which the mothers tried to promote positive body image and resilience to body dissatisfaction in their daughters. Using a content analysis, we have identified five strategies: (a) filtering – being cautious and sensitive in communicating about body image issues, (b) transmitting awareness of the dangers of eating disorders, (c) positive reinforcement – providing affirmations in regard to daughters’ bodies; (d) discussion – providing tools for criticism of the dominant body-related social discourse; and (e) positivity – shifting the focus from food, body-size and weight loss to making healthy choices and taking pleasure in food. Identification of these strategies emphasizes the many potential avenues for growth and development inherent in mother–daughter relationships.


New Article: Barak-Brandes and Lachover, Mother–Daughter Discourse on Beauty and Body in an Israeli Campaign by Dove

Barak-Brandes, Sigal and Einat Lachover. “Branding Relations: Mother–Daughter Discourse on Beauty and Body in an Israeli Campaign by Dove.” Communication, Culture & Critique (early view; online first).





In March 2013, Unilever Israel, owner of the Dove brand, launched a new campaign calling for a dialogue between mothers and their adolescent daughters around the issue of self-esteem and body image. The Israeli campaign was part of the global “Campaign for Real Beauty” launched by Unilever in 2004. The Israeli campaign was run primarily on 2 Internet platforms that appeal to women, and was based mainly on the talk of “ordinary” mothers and daughters on online videos and blogs—ostensibly personal yet produced by advertisers. Based on discourse analysis and critical examination of the consumerist and postfeminist context in which the campaign was produced, this article explores how the mother–daughter relationship suggests a new sphere for processes of branding.