Sunday, July 30, 2006

Body Image and Well-Being

I came across this essay by Jennifer Oakes called, "Young Girls: Body Image & Well Being - Where do they learn harmful habits?" A good read. I especially like her conclusion:

"I examined the topic of young girls and their body image and well-being by investigating all aspects of the different sources that young girls may learn in disturbing behavior from. The main underlying sources that I looked at included societies pressures to be thin, sleeping behaviors, children's cartoon movies, television, and children's toys. I found that all of the pressures to be thin from society had some sort of impact on children in today's society. Is it necessary to go through the struggles with weight preoccupation and eating disorders like many other people in today's society? I don not think that we should be forcing children into dealing with these life-long problems when they are not equipped to do so in body and their undeveloped minds. They do not always know what is good and what is bad for themselves. Again we have to remember that the children of today are very important. They are the ones that will be running society in the very near future. They will be the ones taking care of our generation and they will be the ones to decide who the appropriate role models for their children will be. They will also pass down a lot of what they learned as children, good or bad, in regards to body image and well-being. The question is, should we be teaching them to be consequently aware that thin is beautiful? I think we need to teach the children of tomorrow, and today for that matter, that what matters is what is on the inside. They need to now that being thin will not make you feel instantly happy. After all, it's how you feel about yourself that counts."
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