Thursday, August 9, 2012

Body Image and Media

Today's topic for the August Blogger Challenge with the Fitness Cheerleader is about the impact of the media on body image....I do have to admit that this is probably the most challenging topic for me although as a mom of a girl, and soon to be mom of 2 girls, it is something that I should be more aware of. 

For a large part of my life, I struggled with poor body image.  In all honesty it is something that sits on my shoulder just ready to come back.  I ate up pictures of celebrities...the skinnier the better and used them as motivation to continue on the unhealthy road I was on.  Please let me be clear that I in no way blame the media for my behavior and feelings about the way I looked, I just found motivation there.  When I found out I was having Em, I knew I was going to need to address my own issues.  I wanted to be an example of health and fitness for her instead of a body focused mom.  This really has been a focus of mine.  Several months back I was watching a talkshow (random one) and they were addressing the pro-ana movement.  For those of you who aren't familiar with this, it is basically a movement that encourages anorexia through various websites.  Google it if you are still wanting to know more.  Learning about this made me shudder....what if my daughter read these sites and received these messages?  It got me thinking....what can I do to keep her from craving these unhealthy messages?

The media is not going anywhere and I would be silly to think that my girls will never encounter a negative message, but what I can do is build their confidence in who they are.  I can show them their strengths and how amazing they are.  Then...I can pray that if they do fall into negative thinking that they will know their worth and how much we love them and are there to talk.

What are your thoughts on the media's impact on body image...good or bad?


  1. I don't feel as though the media is in my head with my body image. It very well could be. I think we as parents and especially Momma's of girls are the biggest body image issue. My Mom was constantly on diets and fitness kicks. I hope that I haven't set my daughter up with that in mind as I've always kept it in the back of my own mind. A healthy body image starts with confidence from home IMO Sure, media is not helping in any way shape or form though.

  2. I think there are pros and cons. The modeling industry is much too obsessed with stick figure models. It's hard to not look at fashion without a 90 pound girl wearing it. They photoshop images so much...and it's hard to look at a magazine cover and tell yourself,"THIS IS NOT FULLY REAL."

    On the other side, I read a lot of fitness sites and magazines and I look at buff legs and at girls that are shaped like me (but more muscular) and it makes me work out harder. It inspires me to run further, lift more, what be it.

    If I were a mother though, I'd be fearful of the negative impact it could have on my child. I'm an adult and able to choose for myself. As a child, or teenager, it's harder to NOT be persuaded by media and peers.

  3. I try to be extra careful with my own language about health and fitness. I rarely use the word fat and NEVER call myself fat. Being a parent is hard enough, but then to protect our children from the media. Ugh. We have to do the best we can and just be aware. You're doing great!

  4. I don't worry too much about the media as I have learned to just ignore it. But as a mom of a daughter I know I need to lead by example and provide her the strength and confidence she needs. Learning and self respect start at home. As a woman, I know how hard it can be and I need to be her source of strength during those troublesome years.

  5. Great post. Congrats on your second little girl! I worry about my daughter and self esteem issues too.

    My own take on media/body image comes from a different perspective: I used to be an actress.

    Here is my post with the video clip from my episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer.