There once was a group of girls who decided to play “Mom’s and Daughters.” One girl dressed up as the mother and the other as her daughter. The scene begins in a bathroom where the girls play dress up and put lipstick on. As they compliment each other on their beautiful style, the Mother turns to the mirror gives herself a glance and says, “I am so fat!” The other girls laugh and they decide to play something else.
Our children can develop a poor body image because a mother is obsessed with being fat. For example, I know a woman who is 5’10, 150 pounds and takes diet pills. Her daughter is also obsessed with her weight. Having a negative body image can create feelings of shame, embarrassment and anxiety brought forth when we talk about our bodies. People with a negative body image tend to feel their shape or size is a sign of personal failure. Poor body image can cause mental instability, low self-esteem, depression, anxiety, dieting and eating disorders.
A friend of mine encourages a positive body image by keeping a top ten list of things she likes about herself. Her daughter also keeps a top ten list. A positive body image occurs once we have a realistic perception of our bodies, AND we appreciate our bodies as they are. A positive body image involves understanding that attractive, healthy bodies come in many shapes and sizes and that physical appearance says very little about our character or value as a person. A healthy body image means that our assessment of our body is kept separate from our sense of self-worth and ensures that we don’t spend an unreasonable amount of time worrying about food, weight, and calories.
Our body image is our belief about our body. It’s how we see ourselves, how we think and feel about the way we look and how we think others view us. Our body image can be influenced by those in society, the media, and peer groups.
The way we carry ourselves is what our children will observe and mimic. A positive self-image means that we are creating an example for our children to learn from.
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