Smart parenting shifts body shaming issues to body positivity

If body image issues take root at an early age, shouldn’t body positivity education in the home be top of mind?

What you see isn’t what you always get…as far as bodies are concerned. With all ears on Adele’s upcoming album drop, all eyes have been busy, too. Since May of last year, everything nasty from “she’s too skinny” to “she doesn’t like herself anymore” made the Internet rounds in response to her 100-pound weight loss. Well, apparently, looks are (and have always been) deceiving: “It was never about losing weight. I thought, if I can make my body physically strong, and I can feel that and see that, then maybe one day I can make my emotions and my mind physically strong,” she tells Vogue.

Superstar and 18-year old Billie Ellish puts it another way: “Nothing I do goes unseen. If I wear what is comfortable, I am not a woman. If I shed the layers, I’m a slut … Would you like me to be smaller? Weaker? Softer? Taller? Would you like me to be quiet?”

From body shaming to body positivity

Let’s face the sad truth. Body shaming begins in childhood, where less than positive attitudes start to take root. According to clinical psychologist and researcher:

  • More than 50% of girls and 30% of boys between 6 and 8 feel their ideal body is thinner than their current size.
  • A wide range of reasons accounts for this distorted lens, ranging from the media to peer pressure to messaging from parents themselves.

So why not nip those body shaming issues in the bud from the get go and celebrate all bodies, strengths, and abilities…everywhere?!

Apparently, it’s not really about the weight

It’s about how we feel on the inside (not the size) that counts. It’s time we roll up our sleeves, and be the shining example for our kids, even if this is completely new territory for us. It’s never too late to start your body positive journey, starting with these 5 practices:

1. Teach your kids that the media distorts the average body. Did you know 87% of female characters between 10-17 years old are below average in weight?
2. Do your own body positivity work first.
3. Listen to what your kids are saying to find the right moments to slide body positivity into conversation.
4. Practice what you preach. Easier said than done.
5. Boost your kids’ self worth and introduce some body positive affirmations (our favorite: “There is no one better to be than myself”)

Written by Tiffany Wen

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