Body Positivity for children: Why is it important?

Children are very sensitive and form their opinion on things at a very young age. According to many researchers around the world, children as young as five years old may form a negative body image. Body positivity is a very comprehensive topic and in order to build a positive body image, parents play a significant role in enabling a child to have self-esteem and confidence. In recent times, social media has become a significant part of everyone’s life, including children. Unfortunately, children and teenagers are vulnerable to the irrational expectations of social media. Every day, somewhere or the other children and teenagers experience judgment on how they look, making them feel less about themselves and it eventually impacts their self-esteem. In order to understand why body positivity is important, we should know what it means.

What is Body Positivity and Why is it important?

Body positivity is a manner in which one feels about their body and looks. Children who are appreciated for how they look and their bodies, always tend to feel good about themselves. Children who have a good body image are always confident and have high self-esteem. However, children who are constantly told that they don’t look a certain way or should change the way they look, always lack confidence and have low self-esteem. We should also include boys when we talk about body positivity because it has an impact on all children irrespective of their gender. Motivating to accept oneself and others, regardless of how they look, their shape, and size. Boys are often told to look a certain way, making them build a negative self-image when they look different. The pressure on both girls and boys to look a certain way, to maintain the right weight and size affects their mental and emotional well-being. 

When children are growing up they need to learn their bodies and respect the way others look. Parents need to tell their children that a little extra fat is okay! And it does not make them look ugly. Although children need to understand the significance of being healthy, they should not be demeaned or humiliated for their weight gain. Children should be taught that there is no “ideal” form of the body because every individual is perfect, and desperately chasing the idea of a perfect body will only lead to low self-esteem and demotivation. Poor body image not only affects girls, but it leaves a grave impact on boys too. Nevertheless, girls often suffer from various eating disorders.

Three best ways to develop a positive body image

Remember! No one is PERFECT- Children need to understand that no one is perfect and everyone has their unique potentials and characteristics. When children try to run after that ‘perfect image’, it only makes us feel demotivated. Therefore, always remember no one is perfect and every child is beautiful in their own way.

Never compare yourself with others- One should always remember that everyone is unique in their own way and therefore comparing yourself with others should never be an option. Especially now that social media has become a significant part of everyone’s life and children sometimes tend to compare themselves with others. Comparing only leads to developing jealousy and low self-esteem.

Do not judge or criticize anyone-  It is always convenient and easy to judge and criticize someone. However, criticizing someone eventually becomes a habit. Sometimes children are overpowered by their desire to look perfect and in doing so they usually tend to demean and criticize someone. Therefore, every child should learn to respect each other without passing judgment and criticism. 

Body image is a crucial part of a child’s life and self-confidence. Therefore, making a child understand that everyone is perfect in their own way is significant. Everybody is unique in their own way and one should be proud of how they look.

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