We can’t really underestimate the impact of the media on body image. In this digital age, kids are relentlessly exposed to ads and other images that promote and promise external “perfection”. In fairness, it’s not like striving for the socially-defined “ideal” is a new concept (case in point, corsets, foot binding, plastic surgery, etc.), it’s just that it has never been so easy to get this ‘ideal’ continuously in front of our kids.
In addition, the images themselves have never been so deceptive. Photoshop and other photo editing software, have taken ‘airbrushing’ to a whole new level. We’re not just talking about smoothing out some laugh-lines…whole faces are transformed and bodies are re-sculpted to meet society’s completely unrealistic idea of ‘perfection’. Watch these YouTube videos below for examples of this ‘magical metamorphosis’ taking place (it is really amazing, so check it out!).
Body Evolution (by Tim Piper)
Kristen Stewart Photoshop Makeover (by InfectiousPerfection)
Show your kids these videos so that they can understand why they will never look like the people they see in the media (after all, at the end of the day, the person of which the image was taken, doesn’t even look like themselves). We have to start promoting a more realistic and positive body image for our children!
If you are concerned about making sure your children have a healthy body image, you may also wish to read my post entitled, “Body Image“.