A 2015 study from Common Sense Media about Children, Teens, Media and Body Image reported that 80% of 10-year-old girls have been on a diet. The research also found that more than half of girls and one-third of boys ages six to eight want thinner bodies. I just want to let that sink in for a moment – this is children we are talking about. So I would be surprised if anyone made it to adulthood without at least being aware of the pressure that is placed upon people to look a certain way. Where are kids learning these behaviours? Where are they picking up the idea that thinner bodies are better bodies? The same as adults, these are behaviours that we learn from the things, people and events around us.
We have a lot of people and things in our lives that influence how we see ourselves and our world, including family, friends, film and television, magazines, the people we follow on social media, teachers, and coaches to name a few. If all (or most) of those influencers are saying something negative about your body type, then it’s inevitable that those messages are going to start seeping through – no matter what age you are. As our media landscape has already proven, being bombarded with messages about striving for “the perfect body” has horrifying results. Part of my journey to having a healthy relationship with my body involved recognising who/what the influencers were in my life, and reconsidering whether or not those influences were healthy ones or ones that were to my detriment.
When it comes to body image, there are a lot of things that can impact the way that we feel about our bodies – the glossy mags that move from slamming a celeb’s cellulite in one issue to their bikini body specials in the next, the models we see in magazines and on catwalks, TV shows, movies, music videos, our social media feeds and even our friends and family. All of these things go toward how we decide how we feel about our bodies. So how do you choose who to listen to and who to ignore? View Post