Body image issues amongst teenagers are more prevalent today than ever before. Today the social media has changed the dynamic of the whole world. People know more about the latest trends and want to follow all of them.
If your daughter is starving herself to fit in a dress worn by her favorite model or she is eager to spend all her savings to get her lips plumped because she doesn’t like hers anymore, she is likely a victim of body image issues. Your sons can also be a victim of such issues if they are investing everything to build a six-pack like their favorite superhero.
Body image is defined by how and what you feel about your body and physical appearance. This also refers to the picture of your body you have in your mind which might or might not be true.
A healthy body image means to feel satisfied and happy with your body. On the contrary, an unhealthy body image means to not be satisfied with the way you look.
Factors Influencing Body Image Issues
Many factors influence body image issues in teenagers.
- Media: Media poses a great threat to one’s body image.
- Peers: Peer pressure or bullying can shatter one’s self-image in an instant
- Biology: Hormones and other biological factors play an essential role in body image issues.
- Evolution: As every human behavior when passed on for generation becomes an inherent trait. The human eventually evolves and makes the trait normal, possessed by many or by all.
The Gender Bias
Although body image issues can affect any person irrespective of their gender, women are more susceptible to them. Self-esteem is often associated with men and when women raise their self-esteem they are deemed as rebels.
There is no denying the fact our society including you put more pressure on women to look a certain way and to act a certain way. It is only right that such girls, who from the get-go are scrutinized for their looks and behaviors have more self-esteem and body images than young boys.
From their childhood aunties commenting on their complexions and advising them ways to look gora, takes a toll on their mental health. This blow on their mental health then translates into low self-esteem and unhealthy body imag later in life.
Ways To Handle Your Childs Body Image Issues
Today, like never before looks are given the most importance and value. People fail to look past one’s outer shelf and judge them only on the way they look.
Make your children learn that their intellect and attitude matter the most. Looks are and will always remain secondary. Once you succeed in making your child learn this, they are most likely to neglect the way they look. They will start to strive towards things that matter such as intellect, confidence, and personality.
Do Not Discriminate
Children are always hungry for their parents’ approval. If you make them believe that you find them beautiful they will likely believe it. Self-esteem issues often start when parents discriminate between their children.
Paying more attention to your prettier child and neglecting the rest will bruise not only the ignored child but the whole family.
The way children are treated by their parents shows its effects on their personality. The dynamic they share with their parents in their childhood translates to their general behavior, even when they grow up.
Be a Role Model
Becoming a role model for your children is the best practice. If you learn to not pay heed to irrelevant thoughts regarding your body your child will follow in your footsteps. If your children see you mourning about the way you look and how thin you were when you were young, they will learn to do the same. You need to start looking at yourself in a positive light. You need to do this not only for your children but for your own self too.
Do Not Force
You might not believe it but you ypurslef can be the sole cause of ypur child’s bruised self-esteem. Putting unnecessary pressure on your kid to look like their better-looking cousin can lead to serious self-image issues. I know that you care about your child and want them to be the best but you need to realize that there are things that are out of their hands.
Encouraging them to lose weight if they are fat and shaming them for being fat are two different things. The former might actually help them in doing what you want while the latter will only drive them away from you and towards unrepairable body image issues.
All such issues can be prevented and solved by consulting a psychologist. In today’s time with the ever increasing mental pressure you should always take your child to a psychologist. This will help them shed away all their worries and pressures, and maintain a healthy mind.
Book an appointment now, to help your child. You can book an appointment with top psychologists in Pakistan through Marham by calling at Marham helpline: 0311-1222398 or by online booking facility through the website or Marham mobile app.
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