The Wonders Down Under

Talk to your daughter about 'body drama' early and often.

Even this former Miss America swimsuit winner, Nancy Redd, had self-esteem issues.

No matter how crazy or evil your daughter may seem as her adolescent hormones rage, remember that she needs you. “Girls are naïve, worried and hungry for love,” says Redd. “I see the frustration and worry in their eyes. Too often I meet the kind of girl who didn’t know anything until a guy hit on her. Then she’s like, ‘oh, this is what my body does.'”

Don’t wait. You don’t have to have all the answers; nobody expects that. Instead create a comfort zone for open, honest dialogue. And put “Body Drama” in it.

Linda Villarosa is a health columnist for The Root. “Passing for Black” is her first novel. For more go to her Web site.