How Media Outlets Affect Children’s Body Image

All parents are concerned about the impact of media on our children. I believe we have many reasons to feel this way, as we are presented with more and more evidence of the harm that TV, movies, videos, magazines, and other forms of media can bring on our kids. One of the most discussed negative effects that the media can bring upon children (and even on adults) is poor body image.

Television shows, TV ads, magazines, and billboards constantly show images of  thin, barely-clad individuals. Being exposed to these images over and over lead children to believe that this is what “beautiful” looks like–this is the only way “beautiful” is. They are unable to acknowledge the reality that there are different types of bodies out there, and that there is not one “ideal” body shape. They end up feeling dissatisfied by how they appear, leading to the development of social and health problems. Having a poor body image is something many people struggle with. Speak to your kids about this kind of thing.

One mother shares her insights on this issue and also offers some really good advice in this post: “Tell Advertisers Enough is Enough: What Messages Are We Sending Our Girls?