What is Body Positivity?
Did you know 94 percent of girls and 65 percent of boys have been bullied about their body (body shaming)? At Rubens Barn we believe in teaching our children about appreciating individuals beyond their physique. Our mission ‘shaping a kinder future’ is all about understanding and accepting others as they are. This way of thinking is similar to that of the Body Positivity Movement that celebrated their third-year last month with the Body Confidence Day. It is a movement that challenges societal norms and ideals of ‘the perfect body’ and instead encourages the appreciation of different body types.
Societal ideals are learned early on in childhood. In fact, according to Common Sense Media, recent studies suggest that more than half of girls within the ages of 6 and 8 wish they were thinner while one-third of boys in the same age range think the same way. Body image is influenced by many factors in society while media plays a large role. Children are exposed to popular opinions and ideals about the way their body should look like through TV, social media and even dolls and action figures.
As parents we also influence the way our children think. According to author and dietician, Rebecca Scritchfield, talking negatively about the body can be damaging to children because they can easily pick up the message that there are ‘wrong’ types of bodies and that their appearance should be valued based on a hierarchy of characteristics. Knowing what we think about ourselves helps us understand what we value and communicate to others.
Luckily, Rebecca encourages that self-love and care during early toddler years can help build a child’s self-esteem and a foundation for a healthy relationship to their physical appearance. As adults, we can begin by reflecting on our personal values and attitudes as well as what we think or say about ourselves.
Being curious, we decided to do some soul-searching at Rubens Barn by carrying out a brief internal survey about perceptions. We found out that only 2 out of 7 of us are currently body positive. While all of us have slightly differing reasons for not being fully satisfied with our current shape, we all share the desire to have better energy levels and overall health. Half of us (mainly females) did point out a constant longing for being slimmer. Even so, we all agree on wanting to be body confident and so discuss more about this in our upcoming blog post.