Teen years are full of school dances, sports games, friends, fights, insecurities, and vulnerability. This is also the time of your life when bullying is at its height. Body image is a large part of bullying now, with body shaming a huge issue today. Body shaming is defined as shaming someone for their body type. This is not only limited to overweight people, people get body shamed no matter if they’re too skinny, fat, lanky, muscular, etc. Most of this is done online, which is why every parent should be monitoring their child’s cell phone, to help protect against this.
Unfortunately, this is an epidemic plaguing our middle and high schools and even past that. Middle and high school-aged girls are affected most though. According to healthcare.utah.edu, 61 percent of teen girls with low self-esteem admit to talking badly about themselves as well as 75 percent of those girls with low self-esteem reported engaging in negative activities like cutting, bullying, smoking, drinking and disordered eating. This is a problem, but there are 5 ways to help better teen body image:
- Don’t criticize your teen’s appearance.
- Be a healthy role model.
- Remind your teen that every person has a body part they feel sensitive about and celebrities don’t really look like they may appear.
- Be a good listener and support your teen.
- Help your teens appreciate what their body does every day.
Nobody’s perfect and we all need to be reminded of this. Celebrities have gone on a tyrant recently with A-listers like Selena Gomez, Kelly Clarkson, Jennifer Lawrence, Jessica Simpson, and Melissa McCarthy. Words like fat, big-boned, big thighs, a little roundish, tractor-sized, has a gut, needs to lose some weight, fat and pregnant, too thin and pregnant, chubby, bony and slightly skeletal are only a few of the phrases used to tear women down and shame them for being just the way they are. Melissa McCarthy is one that fought back at the body shaming and she said on today.com,
“People don’t stop at size 12,” she said in the June issue of More. “I feel like there’s a big thing missing where you can’t dress to your mood above a certain number. [Malls] segregate plus-size [women]. It’s an odd thing that you can’t go shopping with your friends because your store is upstairs hidden by the tire section. We’ll put you gals over there because we don’t want to see you and you probably don’t want to be seen.”
Body shaming is a serious issue and we should be building women up and empowering them to love and value themselves. Women today can do anything men can do (and maybe some things better) and we should be empowering young girls to believe in that idea. The biggest culprits of body shaming are their peers, but by parents stepping up and monitoring their children’s texts, social media, emails and more we can find out who the bullies and the victims are and put the injustice to rest. Of all cell phone monitoring apps, I’ve found that Highster Mobile worked best for these needs and can truly bring about the change these young girls need.