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#CanWeTalkAboutThis?:Body Image

Body image among children takes a beating when parents stress that only some kinds of bodies are acceptable - The #CanWeTalkAboutThis campaign

Guest Post By Uttama, Founder & Editor of South Asian Parent 

You know you’ve said it. Out loud, in public, and in front of your children.

In fact, we all say the F-word over and over again without realizing it.

CanWeTalkAboutThisIt’s more than just the word ‘fat’ however; these obscenities hide in our everyday conversations, affecting the way children develop the standards by which they judge themselves, and each other.

“She’d be so much prettier if she wasn’t fat.”

“He’s too dark.”

“She’s too thin; she looks sick.”

“He’s so fat.”

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As a society and a community, we are obsessed with our looks. We fixate on outer appearance to the cost of inner contentment. In an extreme form, the implications clearly show in the increasing number of people affected by eating disorders.

But even in its mildest form, if we are not careful of the words we use around our children, we are raising a generation of people fixated on fitting into a socially-acceptable body size—lacking the security needed to be confident in their own skin, no matter how light or dark.

#CanWeTalkAboutThis releases this poster to show that the words we throw around so easily in day-to-day conversations have ‘weight’. They fall heavily on young ears and sink to the bottom of their spirits, spilling into so many aspects of their self-esteem.

We’d like to ask:

Is it sensible to believe, and to teach, that only one body form is attractive? Should we be talking about how people come in all shapes and sizes? Has our surface appearance become too important for us to shift focus inwards? Would it be beneficial to develop healthy eating and living instead? Can we change our F-word from fat to fit? If we want our children to give greater importance to inner character, don’t we have to demonstrate how to do that by our own actions first? Can we let go of thinking ‘fat’?

We want to know what you think. Add your voice to the #CanWeTalkAboutThis campaign here.

 

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