Young girls + body image

So I have been debating over and over about writing this piece.. and incase you were wondering pro writing it won!

Just last week I read a news article (link here) about a mother here in the UK that brought her 15 year old daughter a waist trainer to give her a more defined figure…seriously?!

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I believe she said that her daughter was inspired to get one by the kardashians..why am I not surprised!

But the fact that she feels her body isn’t good enough with out a wait trainer saddens me.

There are so many influences in the world that make people feel inferior about how they look –

Magazines
Films
TV adverts
Internet articles
Shop window displays and their mannequins

Even things that people say…the so called ‘helpful’ comments.

But I want to talk about how this affects children.

Children are very easily influenced –
If their friend has a new toy, they want it.
If their favourite pop star has a favourite food, its all the eat..and so on.
I believe a lot of advertisements are aimed at young children/young adults.

I used to buy alot of magazines, but I stopped because I found they were about 70% advertising campaigns – and I couldn’t cope with it all.

Photoshop after Photoshop
I can understand why young people are struggle with self love and body image.

There is a constant stream of –
Diet articles
Lose a stone in 7 days
Get bikini ready!
How to get a body like (insert celebrity name here)

Because essentially the thought process is –
Being thin is the most important thing.
And this is a damaging thought process.

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Ahh barbie!
The doll with the tiny body.
I always used to look and barbie and think ‘I want to look like you when I grow up’
I can’t be the only girl who has ever felt this way…
Scary thing is that barbie isn’t the worst doll influence anymore..

I think the Bratz dolls are.

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Tiny waist ✔
Massive pout ✔
‘Perfect’ eye makeup ✔
Shiny, really long hair ✔
I have never, and will never buy my daughters these dolls.
Simply because I don’t like them, and I just consider them to be very unrealistic portrayals of body image.

I wanted to share this image.

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It is a harrowing image.
It is so powerful.
This image resonates with me so much.
I remember being taken over by the fear of being fat when I was 10.
I would barely eat and exercise constantly.

I know that it is so important to instill positive body image in our children, because I was one of those children who developed an eating disorder from a lack of self love.

If you had a young child, his would you feel if this was happening to them?
If they felt pressured by society to lose weight
To be skinny
To be model perfect?

Because our children are rushing through childhood at an alarming rate..and times have changed.
It’s all about iPads, selfies, make up, high heels, and having beauty days.

Most of these things I don’t even do…and I am creeping very close to 30.

Kids don’t want to be kids anymore.
They want to be grown ups.

The girl with the waist trainer wants to fit into the mold of ‘perfection’ – which saddens me
Her mum buying this item for her is basically telling her she isn’t beautiful as she is.
She is sending the wrong message and I feel she will destroy her self esteem with this item.
I understand that the kardashians use them…but what you need to understand is they will do anything to remain within the column inches…and they should not be your role models.

We need to encourage our children to be children.
And not focus on looks.
Also taking care to not use negative words about our own appearance.
Because children almost always want to copy their parents.
So we need to set an example for them to reflect.

I want my daughters to grow up feeling good about themselves.
Loving who they are.
Having a positive body image.

But for now my children are going to be children.

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