What a child believes about himself or herself when young is likely to have a long term impact on that child’s self esteem, confidence and even ability to succeed in life.
A child that grows up feeling beautiful, with a sense of self worth is less likely to have self esteem issues later in life.
Consider the following Shocking Statistics from Colorado.edu:
- Two out of five women and one out of five men would trade three to five years of their life to achieve their weight goals.
- In 1970 the average age of a girl who started dieting was 14; by 1990 the average dieting age fell to 8.
- Young girls are more afraid of becoming fat than they are of nuclear war, cancer, or losing their parents.
- One out of three women and one out of four men are on a diet at any given time. Two thirds of dieters regain the weight within one year and virtually all regain it within five years.
- 35% of occasional dieters progress into pathological dieting.
- The diet industry (diet foods, diet programs, diet drugs, etc.) takes in over $40 billion each year and continues to grow.
- 30% of women chose an ideal body shape that is 20% underweight and an additional 44% chose an ideal body shape that is 10% underweight.
- The average U.S. woman is 5’4” and weighs 140 pounds whereas the average U.S. model is 5’11” and weighs 117 pounds.
- A UK study surveyed some 150,000 young girls between the ages 10 and 14 and 50% of the respondents said that their main concern was their figures or their bodies.
- In a survey conducted by Psychology Today, it was found that 56% of the women and about 40% of the men were dissatisfied with their overall appearance.
These are scary statistics that tell us that parents have to take care what stereotypes we knowingly or unknowingly thrust upon the impressionable young mind.
Make sure that the child knows at all times how beautiful he or she is to you. Reinforce the fact that all body types can be and are beautiful; be appreciative not only one the usual body types or conventional ideals of beauty but of all kinds so that the message that your child gets is you don’t have to be tall and thin and whatever else to be beautiful or that you don’t have to be built like He-man to be considered good looking.