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Sparing Young Children the Affliction of Body Image

A mother not associated with my school told me of her concerns regarding her 3-year old child.  The 3-year old is much shorter than others in her age bracket and the comments about her childs’ height have started to make the child self-conscious.  The mother is worried that the stigma of being much shorter than her peers may deeply erode the child’s self-confidence.  Doctor’s have recommended starting the child on growth hormones to alleviate some of the height discrepancy.  The mother is extremely dedicated and loving, and refuses to take that option as she doesn’t see it in the best interests of her child.

This example highlights a problem that keeps getting bigger and more difficult to deal with.  Why are young children more self-conscious about their body now than ever before?  What are we doing about it?

It seems as if the problem is getting worse and we are becoming less able to respond to it.

Pre-teens have never been so obsessed with their looks and so insecure about their imperfections. I read an article that points to a recent study in the UK where almost 600 children below the age of 13 have been treated in hospital for eating disorders in the past three years.

Many point to the advertising industry.  They blame magazine covers and their gaunt models for creating an unrealistic perception of the average body size and type.

But isn’t advertising just a mirror of our own hopes and dreams?  If they put more meat on Barbie’s unhealthily skinny body, wouldn’t sales be adversely affected?

What bothers me is that parents face an uphill battle with empowering their children to be content with their own looks.  No matter how much time and energy they put into trying to make their children feel secure and attractive, peers and others in society tend to tear them down.

Has the problem gone too far to remedy?  Is blaming the advertisers and media really worth the trouble?  How much power do parents have in helping their children overcome societies unhealthy and unrealistic obsession with body image and beauty?

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2 Responses to “Sparing Young Children the Affliction of Body Image”

  1. Carl D'Agostino Says:

    Many of these teens today would sell a kidney for those special sneakers or those jeans that cost a week’s groceries. How do these welfare families provide those phone things for all the kids even the six year olds.They associate stature with so many things that have no real stature at all.

  2. Charity Says:

    I all the time used to study piece of writing in
    news papers but now as I am a user of net so from now I am using net for
    articles or reviews, thanks to web.

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