Teens and Self Image vs Body Image

We all are concerned about our children no matter what age, but I remember as mine were little, I constantly heard "wait, they'll be teens someday." If I wasn't afraid of this moment in my own head, these outside voices certainly tried to push me over that edge. Now they are there, but we didn't wake up one day and they were suddenly there with all of these new issues. It was a process, beginning from birth.

There is a controversial kids book that has come out that can do damage to not only little ones, but teens (who are often little ones in a more developed body :) as well. The main character sees that she is overweight by looking in a mirror and she goes on a diet. She successfully loses the weight and goes from being made fun of to soccer star and a popular one at that. Great to lose weight? Absolutely. Great to become a soccer star and show hidden potential? Certainly. However, in this society where there is so much "thin is in", the messages can be conflicted. I believe that parents need the book and need to read it when their children are toddlers. There are two issues. The first one is making fun of a child who is different. A child who is obese, although possibly in the majority now, is still considered different and with a problem. We, as parents, need to work with out children to encourage kindness and simply put, the fact that no one is better than anyone else. Why couldn't the main character be encouraged by friends to participate in school activities, and to find her potential strengths while she is still heavy. I know, this does not happen often but society has done this. Each one of us can work with out children at young ages to show kindness. Not an impossible task. The book would have been entirely different.

Why did the main character have to lose weight to be welcome and popular? Is that our main purpose of losing weight? Yes, she was heavy but I'm sure there were potential health issues. The second issue should be that the main character needed a life style change in eating habits and exercise, gradually so that she could handle it. She had excellent motivation, but a support group would mean so much to her! And I'm sure she felt better, pure and simple. Add that with the fact of fashion, confidence if you must, but the main issue? It doesn't have to be. We all need to be conscious of what we feed our children, and early detection is the key, even with childhood obesity.

Our kids have so much to deal with in this difficult world and these trying times. If they are obese, there is still a special person there, deserving love and kindness. Self image is wrapped in this and just as important as body image, no matter what our age. Right?

5 comments:

Menopausal New Mom said...

Very well put, I couldn't agree more. I have a 5-year- old daughter and I know she learns from what I do and not what I say.

Eating healthy and being active in front of our children definitely encourages a healthly lifestyle for them too.

S. Yissele Gallo said...

I like your Blog! I'm following your Blog & Twitter! I hope your visit! Happy Weekend!
Namaste!
http://mamiholisticaygenial.blogspot.com/

Great Beauty Buys said...

Hi there - I agree with you completely - I hate this stupid book. Our daughters have enough to deal with. Mine is 15 and feels insecure enough. I'm a new GFC follower from the Monday Mingle blog hop. Have a great day.

Dayna

Lorena said...

Hi there! Just found you through a blog hop and am your newest follower.. Hope you can come visit me soon! I just started my blog some months ago and I would appreciate the support so much.. It's really nice that there are forums like these for bloggers to meet each other. Thank you and have a beautiful day! :-)

TravelDesignery.com

.

kidspartyheaven said...

I feel exactly the same as you about this issue.
Having had issues with my eldest daughter and bulimia, it really strikes a very personal chord with me.
I'm glad to report that she is doing okay now thank goodness.
But despite always promoting good self image in both of my daughters, I still had to contend with this.
Just goes to show the power of the influence of the media.