As someone who runs a social media account about health and fitness, I take it as my responsibility to also talk about the harsh reality when it comes to health and fitness. Society has broken the mold a bit when it comes to eating disorders and body dysmorphia by spreading more body positivity than what we’ve seen in years. The reality is, these situations still exist.
The only way we can continue to break barriers and expectations is if we continue to discuss these issues, and be confronted by the harsh reality. I went on a search of body image issues, and found some brutal statistics that we all probably weren’t aware of.
Take a look at this picture, do you see how high the percentages are? Two out of the three top categories involve children…little girls! 42% of girls first through third grade want to be thinner, and 81% of ten year old girls are afraid of being fat; with information like this, one could only imagine where they get thoughts like these. Not only does television or social media play a huge part in how young girls think, but they can also pick up habits from older sisters, aunts, or even mothers. I can’t stress enough that it is so important to keep a positive vibe going for not only everyone, but for young girls (and boys) as well. We all know that children pick up on habits, and hear conversations when we don’t know they’re listening; us adults have to learn to love ourselves for the sake of children.
This next photo faces a topic we’ve all heard about. I remember playing with Barbies growing up, but I don’t ever remember wishing I look liked my doll. In fear of a doll’s structure causing a negative influence on a child, if it comes to that point, the adult can only make positive and encouraging actions. You can tell a child that they’re great just how they are, and keep up in encouraging them…especially when they become teenagers. Do I believe that a doll can influence a little kid when it comes to body image? No, but I also say “never say never.” On the other hand, I love the harsh reality that is brought about! This picture really shifts thoughts into perspective.
Lastly, this photo really hits home for most adults, men and women. Laid out in front of your eyes, is a chart with the percentages of what we obsess over the most. I feel as though, naturally the percentage for women would be higher because we have a certain expectation and standard set upon us. At the same time, we tend to forget that men do face body image issues as well.
After seeing these pictures, it really is shocking. As human beings, we are literally hating the body that is giving us life. Yes, we should exercise, eat healthy and be good to our insides, but in the best way possible; let’s be grateful for the skin we’re in.