Today’s Blogger Challenge topic is: Body Image and The Media.
Being a high school Health and Physical Education teacher, and having a daughter, I think this topic is of HUGE importance.
As I was poking around Pinterest I came across this:
I find this really upsetting. 5 year olds concerned about their weight…almost half of the 9-11 year olds surveyed are sometimes or very often dieting…seriously…we are setting these girls up for a lifetime of poor self esteem, distorted eating and negative body image.
Who’s to blame?
Well, in my opinion, I think a lot of it has to do with the media. They continue to portray an unrealistic body type as the norm and as a result, society is unwilling to accept that anything else is beautiful. Many women, teens and now young girls are feeling the pressure to be thin.
Did you know that (according onto the most recent stats I could find) the average Canadian woman is 5’3.4″s and weighs 153 pounds. The average American woman is 5’3.8″ and weights 163 pounds. Source. Now let’s compare that to the average model…
The average model is 5’11” and weights only 117 lbs. Thats less than 98% of Canadian and American women! Source.
Now let’s consider how many times per day young girls, teens and women are exposed to print and television ads displaying this unrealistic body image…are we getting the wrong idea about what’s healthy and normal…absolutely!
So, what should we do about it? What can I do so that my daughter is not one of those 5 year olds wanting to lose weight?
Well, for starters, we need to be good role models. We need to model a lifestyle of healthy eating and physical activity. We need to exemplify a healthy body image and self esteem.
We need to talk to our kids about the dangers of being too thin. We need to explain to them that photos of models and celebrities are altered or airbrushed and that they are not real, nor are they realistic!
We need to seek help when our own issues or those of our kids become more than we can handle. It’s better to be proactive then reactive. Be aware of what’s going on in our kids lives. Ask questions and don’t settle to shady answers. Suspicious? Ask more questions!
What’s your opinion on Body Image and the Media?
How do you suggest we deal with it?