Effects of body shaming on children. How to protect kids from body shaming?
We all have been there. A friend, cousins, or even worst parents body-shaming children. People call others ugly in their own way. Imagine something terrible like this happening to your kids. Imagine a world where children are not welcomed because of their looks.
Some are called fattie, while someone is acknowledged as too thin. Comments like; ‘he is too wheatish’ or ‘she is too dark’ are passed on. People who pass these comments might not realize what they are doing. They put out their opinion without anyone’s consideration. They say things which put children down. The things they think isn’t right about the body that a child has.
Body shaming is a huge pain for children as well as their parents. Kids on whom such comments are made, go through a lot. Some follow the saying: Ignorance is bliss. While others struggle hard for/with their very own existence. They feel bad for being what they are. They begin to find flaws in their own body.
We cannot change the world who has its own definition of beauty. We cannot change the people who comment and talk bad. But, we surely can make a change the way our children feel about themselves. We can change the fact that they don’t like themselves.
How to protect kids from getting body shamed:
If you look back in time, Mother Teressa was and still is one of the most beautiful women. She had one of the most beautiful hearts. She had wrinkles all over her face. She was not even able to stand straight because of arthritis in the back. She wore a simple white saree all her life. Yet, when she died, presidents of 110 different countries stood on the main roads of Calcutta to give her homage. Police didn’t have enough arm strength to handle the crowd.
This is the kind of life that should be lived. Beauty isn’t just how to look. Beauty comes out of what you do. The body you have is a tool to do something brilliant. Your acts will present beauty.
Some parents feel disappointed with their own children. How their child is thin or isn’t tall enough. If there is a boy, parents might feel bad as their son’s shoulder isn’t broad enough. Soon enough they start commenting on their presumably bad features of their child. ‘Why don’t you take good care of your hair?’; ‘You have got fat. Start working out.’; ‘Who will marry you are thin?’; ‘You have got tanned, roaming in the sun. stop doing that.’ parents literally make their children believe that body is everything.
Why? What possibly worst can happen if your child gets tanned? What does that teach children? It simply tells them that if they get tanned there will be something wrong with their bodies.
People say that they want to get slim. Why don’t they ever say anything about being fit? People discuss coloring their hair. Why don’t they ever say anything about coloring their life and relationships? Children look at their parents and learn. If they see their parents like this, they will believe that looks are the most important factor. In a way, you will make your child vulnerable to any criticism coming from the world.
When parents aren’t ashamed of children’s body; and when they understand that the body is a resource which has to be kept fit and healthy, no power in the world can body shame your kids. It’s even worse if we think that the body should be good to make it look attractive to the world.
Make your children respect their bodies. Make them believe that the body is a tool to do something great. How their body looks won’t define them, but what they do, will surely define them. Look round the world. The ambulance isn’t a beautiful vehicle, yet it gets the priority over any vehicle in the world. Similarly, if we use this body to do good jobs, we will be attractive.
Confidence comes from the way we live. It doesn’t come from the body only. Body shaming isn’t going anywhere. There will be people pointing fingers and commenting around. But, we can always give our children the clarity on actual reality. Teach them how to treat their body. Let them live a fantastic life and add value to it.
Every child, rather every human being is beautiful in their own way. Now, some people’s disability to see that shouldn’t stop your child from living. Children shouldn’t sit in a corner, wondering if they will ever fit in. Help your children to break these bars and live their life on their own terms. Make them realize how wonderfully gorgeous they are!