From The Experts

I would say the answer to this question is a resounding YES. Yes, for two fundamental reasons. The first is to ensure that as a parent you engender a healthy body image in your children. The second is because as a society we need to stop the fat shaming and discrimination that is pervasive in the Western world. Let me talk about the first point. As we all know, parents are role models for their children. This is both amazingly powerful and downright terrifying in equal measure. We can have a strong desire for our children to embrace their bodies and have a healthy sense of self, but is this possible if we, as parents, do not hold the same values for our own body? Can we expect our children to...

Well the first thing I need to say is WOW. Over 2.6million people viewed the post and over 14000 people felt it was worth sharing with their friends. Over 2300 people have taken the time to give their personal opinion on the post in the comments section, and it is to this that I would like to turn my attention. Click the link below to see the post via Facebook. https://www.facebook.com/#!/photo.php?fbid=314574818670200&set=a.209208695873480.46106.207017289425954&type=1&theater The majority of comments indicated that people found the post to be not only powerful but empowering as well. Many women (and men) expressed appreciation for the post in highlighting the importance to them of learning self acceptance. As one of the main aims of the Body Image Movement is to communicate the message of accepting and loving our body, this has...

My 8 year old daughter stands in front of the mirror and tells herself that she’s fat. I’m really worried that this is my fault because she has heard me say that too. What can I do to help her? It has been shown in research that young children are influenced by their parents’ levels of body preoccupation and disordered eating. It makes sense that children raised in environments where the focus is on looking a certain way, constantly dieting, and self criticisms from parents about how they look, will result in those children having a greater focus themselves on the way they look and the pressure to look a certain way. Children do learn a great deal from their parents, and if they are exposed to an environment where looking...

It saddens me greatly to see people who are so intensely preoccupied with a dislike of their body based on their perception of how they look. Having worked as a clinical psychologist for a number of years now, I have never failed to be struck by the large numbers of clients who present to me with issues associated with poor body image and resultant low self-esteem. Men and women of all ages and those from differing social and cultural backgrounds are vulnerable to issues of negative body image. For so many people the size and shape of our bodies can become an intensely negative preoccupation. This preoccupation – or constant negative self-focus – has understandable consequences for our self-esteem, mood, relationships, confidence, and our general satisfaction with life. This includes our ability...