Wednesday, January 18, 2017
Body Image Concerns and Resources
Kids are starting to develop concerns about body image at younger ages than you might think, According to a 2015 report by Common Sense Media body image is learned very young. Children are aware of body issues and methods to control body size and appearance by the time they are preschoolers, and many young children start exhibiting socially motivated distortions in their body perceptions. The report, Children, Teens, Media, and Body Image, is a compilation of the existing research on how kids and teens feel about their bodies, "I think there's a lot of talk about teens and body image, and many parents become aware of that when kids hit puberty, but kids as young as 5 are already expressing a desire for a body that is thinner than their current self or future self," said the author of the report. More than half of girls and one-third of boys as young as 6 to 8 think their ideal weight is thinner than their current size.By age 7, one in four kids has engaged in some kind of dieting behavior. I encourage you to read the report body-image-report.pdf
CNN reporter Kelly Wallace used the Common Sense Media report to put together a special story with videos and a summary of key points in the research that is very informative http://body-image-kids-younger-ages/
What can we do to help young students develop a positive body image?
Kids Matter has a great article with the reason why schools need to be involved as well as tips for working with parents kidsmatter.edu.building-body-image-school I incorporate biblio counseling in many of my lessons and small groups. A great summary of good books on this important topic is at Celebrating Every Body: 25 Body Image Positive Books for Mighty Girls I want to add 2 of my own new favorites The Inner-Beauty Secret by Keisha Howard (2015) that I have shared before and Julia Morphs and Learns to Accept Herself by Rosalinde Block (2017). These are both available from https://youthlight.com Both these books speak to kids who are anxious about being “different,” to recognize the unique, inner beauty that is within them. There are posters available to download to accompany Julia Morphs. In my school body image is a hot topic among our second grade girls (and parents) so this is where I am using these two books on self-acceptance.