Body confidence & positivity in teenagers

By Mansi Zaveri

New Delhi, Dec 4 (IANSlife): Parents' concerns were sparked by a recent survey on kids' use of social media. A third of teen females, 32 per cent, reported that they "felt awful and unhappy about their bodies," and social media use just made this feeling worse.

This disturbs parent who are part of a generation exposed to the negative aspects of social media like cyberbullying and body shaming, and parents, need to change the narrative.

Yet how? Here are three strategies to promote body confidence, not just in young people but also in ourselves.

* Use the right words: Instead of saying things out loud like "I need to lose X kgs", tweak it today, "I need to be cautious so I can stay healthy." When you pass judgment on others, what they hear is that it is okay to look at people only based on their looks and body. It is important they learn sooner than later, that it is not okay to shame people based on their appearance.

* Define your core focus: Shift the topic of body confidence to "how often do you fall sick" rather than how thin or fat one is. Body confidence is driven from what your body can do in a smooth fashion on a regular basis rather than a late wake-up-call for drastic measures. Impress upon your kids that being healthy trumps everything else.

* Focus on being "you": There are so many out there to tell us what's wrong with us -- we need to teach our kids to make peace with themselves and to love themselves for who they are. The optimistic vibes, the self-love and positive affirmations are what our kids need handy to battle body shaming and bullying.



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