I didn’t have the fortune of raising a girl, but I’m blessed to be an aunt to one. And I’m blessed to come from a long line of strong, independent women who did NOT buy into society’s sexist crap. Here are my suggestions, to go along with your very excellent ones:

Praise girls for things other than their looks: “Wow, you were really smart to figure that out!” or “That was so kind of you!” etc. Teach them that they can excel at a wide range of things — being smart, funny, kind, strong, etc.- other than just being “pretty.”

Also, teach them that they have absolute authority over their bodies. No forcing them to hug or kiss anyone they don’t want to. Defending them when they say no. Going to bat for them when the school won’t.

Finally, and this might be difficult for Americans: let her see other naked women — real, non-airbrushed women. Don’t force it on her, obviously, but if nudity is seen as natural and no big deal, it won’t be. Seeing what women of all ages/shapes actually look like can counter the toxic messages they’ll get from porn and mainstream media (lots of great Medium writers have written about this in more depth).

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