"To lose confidence in one's body is to lose confidence in oneself." -Simone de Beauvoir


Our culture has a body image disorder.

It is hard to live in our modern world and not catch it - from friends, social media, commercials, magazines, the health industry.

Social comparison is a big driving force in our lives, and it is human nature to want to fit in and be a part of the tribe.

However, body image is really just my judgment about my body, which stems from my thoughts.

So BODY IMAGE = MY THOUGHTS ABOUT MY BODY.

However, my thoughts, whether positive or negative, are not existential truths. They are just my thoughts about how my body looks to me, not how it actually looks, and I would be able to find lots of people on either end of the spectrum, who agree or disagree with me.

There is no ideal body that would make us happy for the rest of our lives. Even super models often have low body confidence. Cindy Crawford once famously said, “I wish I looked like Cindy Crawford,” referring to the photoshopped images of her pictures.

According to Meagan Ramsey, low body confidence spills over into the rest of our lives, undermining academic achievement and our health, leading to lowered self-esteem, greater risk for depression, and in turn taking more risks, such as alcohol and drugs, crash dieting, unprotected sex and self-harm.

However, educating for body confidence and developing strategies to overcome these pressures while also addressing our thoughts and feelings below the surface, can counter this unhealthy trend in our society. As moms, we also have to step up our game, deal with our own issues, and become better role-models for our daughters.


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IN THE NEWS

 

WHEN YOUR DAUGHTER INSULTS HER BODY - 11 things to say that will boost her confidence.

ALL BODIES ARE GOOD BODIES - How to talk to kids about body image.

TO THE MOM WHO TAUGHT ME EVERYTHING: A body image breakthrough.

BREAST AND BODY CHANGES - Driving teen girls out of sports.

RAISING A GIRL WITH A POSITIVE BODY IMAGE - 4 tips to keep in mind.

PARENTING GIRLS THROUGH THE DIET SEASON - Important questions answered.

THE INSTAGRAM CELEBRITY - And the truth.

9 BODY POSITIVE TERMS TO TEACH YOUR DAUGHTER


RECOMMENDED BOOKS

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MESSAGES ABOUT ME: Sydney’s Story

A girls’ journey to healthy body image. (By Educate and Empower Kids.)


VIDEOS

 
About 10,000 people a month Google the phrase, "Am I ugly?" Meaghan Ramsey of the Dove Self-Esteem Project has a feeling that many of them are young girls. In a deeply unsettling talk, she walks us through the surprising impacts of low body and image confidence-from lower grade point averages to greater risk-taking with drugs and alcohol.

Jean Kilbourne takes a fresh look at how advertising traffics in distorted and destructive ideals of femininity.

Pioneering activist and cultural theorist Jean Kilbourne has been studying the image of women in advertising for over 40 years. In this rapid-fire, passionate, and highly entertaining talk, she discusses the experiences that inspired her to create this new field and vividly illustrates how these images affect us all.

We all go through moods when we feel exceptionally ugly. We tend to blame our faces and our clothes, but the cause of the feeling is almost always internal. We feel ugly because things have gone wrong at a psychological level, not a physical one.
What is it that makes us most distinctively ourselves? Our bodies, our memories, our values...? Take a tour through the philosophy of personal identity.
 

MOVIES

 
When Body Image Activist Taryn Brumfitt posted an unconventional before-and-after photo in 2013 it was seen by more than 100 million people worldwide and sparked an international media frenzy. EMBRACE follows Taryn's crusade as she explores the global issue of body loathing, inspiring us to change the way we feel about ourselves and think about our bodies.