Promoting Positive Body Image and...

Promoting Positive Body Image and Self-Esteem in Young Children in India

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By Rabia Khan

Since weight is the most controversial topic, children often shy away from talking about body issues. Media loves to stereotype human bodies and we tend to become pawns of this irrational system, turning us into puppets. The constant pressure put on young children to be perfect at times can get out of control.

Obsession with fairness creams and being thin to an extent have proven that we still live around a cynical outlook. There are multiple advertisements that are hellbent on brainwashing young children steering feelings of them being not good enough, and perpetuating unhealthy lifestyles that their parents often don’t desire.

The patriarchal ancient system concludes that young women in India are looked at as subjective role models, hence not giving preference to their abilities as a person but giving preference to their outer appearance. Promoting such body image really impacts the self-esteem of young children, resorting them to unhealthy coping mechanisms like fasting, diet crashing, various weight loss regimes, etc.

We grew up in households where ‘superstitious’ beliefs were the heart of our family. Women are hammered with endless expectations and are looked upon as perfect and ‘neat as milk’. People in India and some traditional environments hold such a backward mentality that they believe a ‘docile’ woman is the perfect daughter-in-law, and that such a docile person would come without any warnings of foreboding. Just because a woman is born with a fair complexion, that doesn’t mean she cannot indulge herself in ‘feminine sins’.

Promoting positive body image will surely bring a sense of security to young children. Setting their self-esteem in the right direction while they are in primitive years can prepare them for a brighter future and bring success. This very system of promoting body image proves that we are so insecure with ourselves that we feel obliged to take somebody’s natural essence away by distorting their principles of basic human rights.

Since endless jingles and advertisements surround our generation, tele-friendly adverts never show the dark side of various products and the very dangers that come with them, many have been proven to cause cancer due to the heavy amount of chemicals injected into them.

Through education, we can fairly promote positive body image and self-esteem in young children. Receiving the right kind of education will not only feed your knowledge by eliminating malpractices, but it will also strengthen the ideologies that are overlooked in the industry.

Unrealistic obsessions are thrown at us like a fairy tale and it’s easier to get influenced because of our feeble minds. Parents need to foster attitude of radical acceptance and teach them to love themselves when they are young. They grow up to become responsible adults when they feel secure within themselves. It’s essential to prioritize your child’s mental and physical being in a judgement-free environment.

Listening and understanding your children will help elevate their self-esteem, making healthy living conditions for them to grow as their own individual selves.

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