Summer is around the corner, meaning sunshine, vacations and pool time. Yet summertime and the pool can unfortunately cause negative feelings about our bodies.
How many times have you seen or heard, “Is your body beach-ready?” It’s important for parents to promote positive body image with kids, who are vulnerable to cultural expectations and peer pressure.
Among children as young as 6- to 8-years-old, 1 in 2 girls and 1 in 3 boys think they should be thinner. Especially for females, the media sell the idea that their value lies in beauty, sexuality and their bodies.
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This can lead to body dissatisfaction, which contributes to the fact that a half-million U.S. teenagers have eating disorders. It’s important for parents to promote a healthy body image and a message of beauty in all body types for both girls and boys.
When you hear your children say negative things about their bodies, stop and ask them to tell you three things they love about their bodies or about themselves. You can also do this for yourself.
Healthy bodies start with a healthy body image. Ignore the negative media messages and embrace the fun of summer.
Claire Hickey of Kansas City is in her second year as a pediatric resident at an area hospital. She grew up in Brookside. She graduated in 2014 from the six-year medical school program at the University of Missouri-Kansas City.