Body image issues start at a very early age among children. Pre-set beauty standards and the perfect appearance criteria contribute a lot to the struggle with body appearance for kids. The number and rate at which kids struggle with their external appearance keep increasing. The body image issue can have an impact on the child in several ways:

  • Impact their confidence

Children could experience a loss of self-assurance and a lack of belief in their potential.  Due to this, their ability to perform, experiment, and experience will have an impact.

  • Fitting in

Children might alienate themselves and find it hard to fit in, as they might identify themselves as not being a part of the larger group. 

  • Sets a base 

The image one carries as a child is most likely to continue through adulthood or impact how one perceives themselves in the upcoming days/years.

  • Belief

The struggle might lead to underestimating one’s potential and believing in lesser than what one truly can. 

Common causes for struggling

Peer pressure

It can happen when the peer group comments on the appearance or when the struggling child listens to the ideal body criteria from the peer, realizing they do not fall under the category. Body image problems are also a result of the pressure to fit in with the group.

Social media

The projection of perfection on social media with filters, fillers, and editing apps brings an expectation that is impossible to meet. In reality, those who post pictures of their perfect versions are not as perfect themselves. The ideal body seen on the internet may not be what the children are. This gap leads to body image issues.

Weight fluctuations

When kids lose or gain weight at the time of puberty or later, it can bring consciousness to their physique. The bodily changes can make one feel different about themselves and start focusing on how they look.

Conscious parents 

The child may develop body image issues if exposed to comments about their appearance from conscious parents. It might make the child feel less about the external appearance.

Gender identity

It is at the stage after puberty, during the pre/teenage years, one will find or explore their gender. The child might lean more towards another gender but physically identify as another. This contradiction in identification can also pave the way to struggles with physical appearance.

Ways to overcome

The environment of the child’s upbringing affects how they perceive the world. It also impacts the way one perceives themselves. In that case, parents have a major influence on what the child thinks to be beautiful and in setting the standards.

  • Educating the children on being inclusive and seeing beauty in everything is the base. 
  • It’s crucial to highlight a child’s best qualities on the inside as well as the outside when bullied for a particular aspect of their appearance. 
  • Making the child understand that everything on social media is not real.
  • Explain the bodily changes that can happen at the time of puberty and how it is natural to change.
  • The language used in front of the child should radiate positivity.

This blog hopes to bring awareness among people about how children can fall prey to struggle with their body appearance. If you feel like your kids are struggling with body appearance or undergoing any issues with body image, talk to them, and be approachable and accessible.