Body image is how you think you look and how you feel about your body.
Preteens and teens are often concerned about their appearance. Images on television, online, in movies, and in magazines can lead young people to believe that they’re not beautiful if they don’t have a certain body size or shape. Having a healthy body image means having a realistic image of how you look and appreciating your body as it is.
Help your child have a healthy body image
- Set a good example: If you are overly concerned about weight and appearance, your child might be too.
- Make choosing healthy foods a family affair and it will benefit everyone.
- Be active in ways that are fun.
- Focus on characteristics like honesty, responsibility, and being a good friend. When your child shows these positive characteristics, applaud them.
- Acknowledge your child’s accomplishments often. Build self-esteem by focusing on things other than weight or appearance.
- Listen to your child. Ask them to share their feelings with you, and let them know that you understand and accept how they feel.
Understand what they see in the media
Watch TV or look through a magazine with your child. Discuss how advertising has a powerful effect on how people look at themselves. Talk about how photographers can change images to look thinner or more muscular.