Happy Mother’s Day!
Curvy Swimwear is celebrating this year by encouraging the whole family to feel good about their bodies.
Negative body image in children is becoming a significant issue, with 70% of Australian kids citing body image as their key concern. As Taryn Brumfitt from The Body Image Movement observes, “No child is born hating their body, it’s a learned behaviour”. Giving your children the gift of positive body image can help them live healthier, happier, and more fulfilling lives.
Every generation can inspire children to live with positive body image.
We expect teenagers to have a challenging relationship with their bodies, but body image issues can start to develop in children from a very early age. Children learn by observing, so it is important for us as parents and influential adults to set a good example.
There are many steps you can take to ensure the little ones in your life are receiving the body positivity message. If you are struggling with your own self-worth, actively implementing these strategies can help change the way you feel about yourself. It’s a win/win moment for the whole family.
Even if you have to adopt a “fake it till you make it” approach to leading by example, it is a worthwhile and beneficial exercise, which will actually help with your own self-love journey.
Lead by example when you can to inspire love, acceptance and celebration of our miraculous bodies.
Taryn Brumfitt’s Embrace Hub offers resources and guidance for kids, parents, teachers, and coaches to help children “realise that their body is not an ornament, but a vehicle for their dreams.” We checked out the parent hub to discover simple ways to be the best body positive role models for the next generation.
Here’s what we learned.
1. Stop saying negative things about your own and other people’s bodies.
This can be challenging as our society is so fixated on bodies! You only need to glance at any magazine rack to see that body obsession has completely consumed us. Actively rejecting this obsession with celebrity bodies, strangers’ bodies, people we know and ourselves, takes time and effort, but is an extremely powerful step on the way to positive body image for ourselves and our kids.
2. Show your kids how you respond with self-compassion and kindness instead of self-criticism.
Nobody is perfect and there will be times when you just can’t accept your body, let alone love it. Be mindful in these moments to treat yourself kindly, knowing that impressionable ears are hearing everything you say. If you can change your vocabulary from critical to compassionate, you’ll pass on a healthy habit that serves your kids throughout their lives.
3. Model moving and fuelling your body because you respect and value your body, not for punishment.
Healthy relationships with food and exercise are vital for feeling good about your body. Exercise and movement should be seen as a way to keep fit, have fun, and celebrate all that your body can do. Food offers fuel to energise your body but is also a way to experience pleasure and partake in joyful social interactions.
Show your kids that you move your body for fun and enjoyment, not to punish yourself for eating cake.
4. Have a conversation with your kids about all of the amazing things your body can do.
Share your active achievements with your family and celebrate the wonderful things your body has done and continues to do. This could be as a simple as having gratitude for the little things and encouraging your family to share their experiences, whether big or small. This isn’t limited to sport or exercise either; your body is required to make music, paint a picture, and even give a big, warm hug.
5. Fix your social media feeds together – unfollow anyone that makes you feel bad about your body.
This is a powerful and effective way to control the influence you want for yourself and your family. Gone are the days when you are offered a limited representation of what society deems acceptable and aspirational. You can curate your own influence from an endless offering of content that brings you joy, inspires, educates and makes you feel good about yourself. Encouraging your kids to reject anything that makes them feel bad about themselves and discover the excellent role models and entertainers who are more than just their bodies, is a great way to foster positive body image.
6. If you haven’t already, throw away the scales and any diet products or books. There is no need to focus on weight – just focus on your health.
Unless you have a genuine medical need for them, diet products, scales, and publications about weight loss and restricted eating have no place in a healthy home. While you might think you’re the only one using them, children model their behaviour on yours and will become inquisitive about your focus on diet, leading to poor body image and possible disordered eating. Save your weight and diet concerns for your health professional and try to keep this influence out of the home.
Happy, healthy kids have a positive relationship with their bodies, food, and exercise.
No matter what you're getting up to this Mothers Day, we hope that you enjoy quality time with your nearest and dearest. From all of us here at Curvy Swimwear, have a fabulous Mothers Day!