Kids at this age can struggle with pressure from social media and friends over body image. Find ways to support your child here.
What Is Body Image?
Body image is our view of how we look, and how that makes us feel. It’s not about what we actually see in the mirror. It’s something we learn from the people around us through social media, and from the way we talk to ourselves.
Why Is Body Image Important?
If you or your child are worrying that they don’t look ‘right’ it can chip away your confidence and self-esteem. You may want to change your appearance, hide any ‘flaws’, or avoid people altogether.
When you have a good body image, you will value yourself as you are. You will be less likely to feel that you have to change the way you look to make others like you.
Anyone can learn body confidence and know how to handle negative thoughts. This means you can be comfortable being yourself.
Common Worries About Body Image
Children’s bodies go through lots of changes very quickly. It’s natural for you to feel sensitive about this. You might experience some anxious feelings about fitting in with others or you may start noticing or comparing:
- What your body can and can’t do.
- Weight, height or body shape.
- Skin and hair.
- Cultural and other differences.
- Maturity, such as who’s started shaving or wearing a bra.
You can watch this video to learn about how to cope with body image struggles
Clothes and Accessories
This can be a lot to cope with at any age, so parents need be careful not to dismiss their child’s feelings. Let them know you’re listening and ask how you can support them to feel good about themselves.
Social media can have an impact on your body image and relationship with food, due to increased exposure to thin and toned body types and particular diets.
Studies show that 88% of young women compare themselves to images they observe on social media, with over half of them emphasising that the comparison is unfavourable. Social media platforms often feature images of people with seemingly perfect faces and bodies, often using filters and photo editing tools to enhance their appearance. This can create unrealistic beauty standards, leading to body dissatisfaction and low self-esteem in both women and men.
Support in Sefton
If you child is 0-19 there are a range of services in Sefton that can support, you and the whole family if you or your child is struggling with their body image.