Body Image & The Media – August Writing Challenge #9

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:

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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.

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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?

11 responses to “Body Image & The Media – August Writing Challenge #9

  1. Hi Erin! This is a great piece you wrote! This subject is very near and dear to my heart. I think it is such an important topic that is not discussed enough! The media creates these horrible distortions and the everyday person (males and females) think they need to fit these molds! I hope you don’t mind but I am going to tweet this and @recoverwithMEDA on it too!! They will definitely share your article! Thanks for talking about such an important topic!

  2. Hi Sarah!

    Thanks for sharing my post! The more people we can reach the better. This is such an important issue in today’s society, and I totally agree that it is not discussed enough.

  3. What is the Liebster Award? The Liebster Award is given to upcoming bloggers who have less than 200 followers.
    The Meaning: Liebster is German and means sweetest, kindest, nicest, dearest, beloved, lovely, kind, pleasant, valued, cute, endearing, and welcome.
    The Rules:
    1. Each person must post 11 things about themselves.
    2. Then answer the questions the tagger sent for them, plus create 11 questions for the people they’ve tagged to answer.
    3. Choose 11 people and link them in your post.
    4. Notify the people you have tagged.
    5. No tag backs.
    My Questions
    1. If you were a cereal, what cereal would you be?
    2. What’s your favorite go-to snack?
    3. Favorite animal?
    4. If I gave you a million dollars, what would you do with it?
    5. Who’s body would you take over if you could?
    6. If you could go back in time, what moment would you go to?
    7. Favorite quote or lyric?
    8. Spring, summer, fall, or winter? Why?
    9. Favorite unwinding activity
    10. What’s in your purse/wallet?
    11. You see a group of people in regular clothes run by (not in panic though), what do you do?

  4. It’s such a scary thing to think about, if the media doesn’t change with the times. I worry about how my nieces will think of themselves as they approach the tween years.

    • I think the most important thing we can do is acknowledge that there is a problem and be sure to make daughters, nieces, young girls aware of it too.

      Modelling positive self esteem and healthy body image are key!

      Now that you are tuned in, I’m sure you will offer your nieces all the love and support they need to be happy as they are and recognize there is more to their self worth than looking like women on magazines.

  5. This is a great post! I wish I would have had guidance on this topic when I was a youg girl/teen!! I spent all of my teen years full of anxiety because of my weight and what I looked like. Everyday was a huge struggle for me. I never wanted to go to school or leave the house because I thought everyone was staring at me because of how I looked. I went through years of dieting, frustration and sadness because I was striving for something unrealistic…Finally in my 30’s I’m actually starting to “get” it!

  6. Great post, Erin. I worry about my daughter and self esteem issues too. My own take on media/body image comes from a different perspective: I used to be an actress.

    Here is my post with the video clip from my episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer.
    http://sheslosingitdotnet.wordpress.com/wp-admin/post.php?post=871&action=edit&message=6&postpost=v2

    Lisa
    http://sheslosingit.net

  7. I went through this with Emily when she was 9…. It was heartbreaking to hear her tell me she’s fat because one of her friends is skinny and she doesn’t look the same. I remember telling my girls that the modls in magazines and tv are no more real than a cartoon character… They are air brushed and makeuped to make them look like something they are not. I’ve always told them that people come in all shapes and sizes and what’s I,portant is to be healthy. Some one who is 117lbs can still have cellulite, have no muscle tone and die of a heart attack because they are unhealthy….. But they look great in their skinny jeans….. Opposed to the woman who weighs 150lbs, has muscle and eats well… She’s healthy but isn’t a size 2… Ahhhhh… So frustrating!

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