Have you ever thought about your child's body image? Do they think about themselves in a positive or negative light? How do you talk about body image?
"Is my bum too big in this?"
"I've been so bad today, tomorrow I'll be living on lettuce."
"That girl is so pretty - look how skinny she is."
"I can't eat that… I don't eat carbs."
Magazines, music videos, TV advertising, TV weight loss shows, mums, dads… Early Years Educators?… On and on it goes…
Does any of this sound familiar? 'Fat talk', 'fat shaming' and idealising the thin body for women and the muscular body for men is so common in Western culture we might not even be aware we are doing it. In fact, studies have shown that even children as young of three years of age are not immune - they prefer thin playmates over larger ones and believe they can't live up to the beauty ideals set by Disney Princesses. We used to think that body image concerns began around puberty, but increasingly, research with younger children has shown that body image worries are beginning much earlier than this (1).
Click here to read the rest of this thought provoking article about the development of body image in young children.