Body Positivity Starts Early

With TV and video imaging, as well as social media interaction and feedback, it is sometimes a challenge for adults to feel positive about themselves at all times, or even perhaps at a loss of how they should act or feel. If media can affect adults, imagine what it can do in presentation and molding kids. Even though they may seem oblivious, the same images and portrayals that provoke adults can affect kids as well, even at very early ages. That’s why implementing body positivity into kids’ minds as early as possible is so important.

The belief that our bodies are beautiful and valued is body positivity. It is our perception of our worth. Feeling that we are “worth it” in all aspects of life is so important, especially in a growing child. They are still learning their places in the world, so the confidence to proceed is inherently tied to body positivity. Media may make kids more crucial to themselves than expected. Diversity and inclusivity movements are abundant in the U.S. but only sometimes meet the mark. As parents, teachers, siblings, and family members, we must begin to enforce value into the lives of our vulnerable in all aspects of their day-to-day agendas.

We must teach, even during an epidemic of childhood obesity, that all bodies are deserving of love, appreciation, and acceptance. We must encourage health and happiness in a society that promotes slimness or fitness. This can begin as early in childhood as toddlerhood, as simplistic as saying, “You are beautiful, intelligent, healthy, and essential.”

The Children’s Hospital of Colorado tells us that body positivity determines how people care for themselves, get along with others, and reward themselves. This is important to both physical and mental health. Constantly reinforcing positive language, positive images, and interception of negative images all aid in body positivity in kids. Children who see the adults around them demonstrating healthy habits and positive self-esteem are likelier to imitate the same. The earlier kids begin to take in the aspects of positive body imaging and not impact themselves with negative imaging, the better their path will be as they age. High self-esteem and confidence will support physical and mental health habits for the rest of their lives.

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