In the past few years, more and more people have begun slowly embracing the concept of body positivity over what society’s perception of what a body should look. But Time Magazine says that people still have a long way to go to change the behavior. Between 2013 and 2016, an estimated 38% of adolescents in the United States ages 16 to 19 have tried losing weight. Among these adolescents, 30 percent of them are boys. But what causes these teens to feel negative about their health and body image?
Teen’s perspective on body image
Several factors can influence how teens view their bodies. These can include their family environment, and the attitude of their peers. Puberty also plays a huge influence in determining their body image, as this is the time when they experience the most changes physically. But one of the most pervasive factors that affect teen body image is media.
The way media portrays how an ideal body should look poses a problem and it creates a tremendous health risk for teens. From ads in magazines, television, and billboards, teens are getting the wrong ideas about how society wants people to look. Without proper guidance, teens can develop severe eating disorders, which can put their lives at risk. Once that happens, only bulimia nervosa treatment centers can help them recover from it.
Improving your child’s body image
As a parent, you can help your child create a better body image by monitoring what she sees on television. Very Well Mind says that you may want to talk to your children about any advertising that focuses on body image. This doesn’t mean that you should take away all her magazine collections. Instead, focus on discuss with her why certain portrayals of bodies in media may be unhealthy or unrealistic.
In this vein, you can also talk to her and talk about the risks of being excessively thin. Also, let her know how the pictures of the models get altered and airbrushed to make them look perfect.
On the flipside, you can also help them by becoming a role model for positive body image. If they feel that you’re comfortable with your body, your child will find it easier to be positive about their own. Avoid crash or fad diets. You should start appreciating your body more by being proud of yourself and what you can do, instead of focusing solely on your appearance. Participate in physical activities and make healthy eating a part of your family life.
Another way to help them develop a healthy body image is by accepting how others look and valuing them for who they are. Alongside this, refrain from commenting on how other people look. Finally, take a minute to observe your child, and see if they seem to be criticizing their own bodies more often than usual. If that’s the cause, then your child might be experiencing body image concerns. If you feel like your child is experiencing any body image issues, then it’s best to talk to them about it.