This Is Why We Should Stop Body Shaming Kids ASAP

By Shanzeh Jalali | 17 Sep, 2022

When I was about 6 years old, it was the first time I heard I was fat and it stuck with me all along. This is why we need to end body shaming on all levels.

source: the worn

Society has made us believe that if a particular person does not look like the standardized version of a human being, they are allowed to mock them and shame them.

According to the Urban Dictionary, body shaming is referred to as the act or practice of subjecting someone to criticism or mockery for supposed bodily faults or imperfections, but it is so much more than that. When you are telling a child they are skinny or fat, in a way, you’re letting them know that they are not enough.

Being healthy and being active should be a constant priority, not weight. 

source: wow parenting

Parents these days are obsessed with their children’s figures. This should not be something every kid has to go through. It is shown that higher body dissatisfaction is associated with a poorer quality of life, psychological distress, and the risk of unhealthy eating behaviors and eating disorders. Conversely, body satisfaction and appreciation have been linked to better overall well-being and fewer unhealthy dieting behaviors.

I have first-hand experience with this and it did not particularly end well.

Along the way, I indulged in starving myself and counting my calories when I should have been caring about other things. I know that no matter how skinny I get, I will still see myself as the fat kid my parents saw in me. Words do stick around and they stick around for longer than anticipated. 

 

Instead of telling kids, that they are too short, tall, skinny, or fat, we should tell them how strong, brave, and resilient they are. Encouraging goes a long way, criticizing does not.


cover image via helpguide.org

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