While I was reading The Body Image Survival Guide for Parents, I also read a few articles online that poked fun at women for their weight. One was about the witty and talented Lena Denham of the hit HBO show, “Girls”. Not long ago, shock jock Howard Stern referred to Dunham as “a little fat girl who kinda looks like Jonah Hill, and she keeps taking her clothes off, and it kind of feels like rape.”
So an average girl can’t be the star of a show? This is exactly the problem with society today – body image is so skewed. A woman can’t be an average size and be on television without being called fat. Later on when Stern interviewed Dunham, he apologized to her saying he loved her and thinks she’s “terrific.”
It took Marci Warhaft-Nadler 20 years to figure out her own body image issues but she knows now that “self-worth should not be measured in pounds.” She spent 25 years in the fitness industry telling people how to take care of their bodies while secretly abusing her own.
Today, she is a body image specialist and wrote a new book to educate parents of body image issues in our children. The Body Image Survival Guide for Parents is written with a goal to tear down the harmful myths surrounding beauty and fitness and empower kids to love and appreciate themselves for who they are.
81% of 10-year-olds are afraid of getting fat.
The #1 wish of girls 11-17 is to lose weight.
These statistics are shocking and worrisome. In the book, Marci writes that little girls learn so much from their own mothers so it’s crucial that they see their moms being accepting and kind of themselves.
Marci talks about body image from as young as three years old up until the teen years – it’s disturbing how much society, media and toys can influence the way we look at ourselves and how much emphasis is placed on how we look. Images are all around us, from television, movies, music, magazines – we can’t escape what society says our bodies should look like.
But wait – it’s not only girls that have body image issues. Marci touches upon body issues in BOYS – yes boys… heroes like Superman and GI Joe suddenly have huge muscles. How can boys try to achieve that? Look at the beloved Superman and how he looked when first created, and how he appears today:
Marci offers helpful suggestions in the book such as role modeling healthy body image behaviour, image proofing the home and even making the home a “talk-free fat zone”. She offers tips on how to teach your kids to love themselves and to look up to “normal” role models, how to compliment children on their actions – not their looks.
Here’s one game in Marci’s book that she suggests parents can play with their kids – the “I am” alphabet game where you can each find positive characteristics – none on physical appearance – to describe yourselves. For example, A is for Adorable, B is for Bright, etc.
Great questions and the right answers, Marci’s book is backed by stats, studies and real-life experiences and quotes from kids and parents. Marci offers practical tips and good advice on answering the difficult questions that children may ask parents – the most important tip? Conversations with children should never be about weight but should focus on health.
Marci’s book is a real eye-opener – every parent should read it, parents of girls AND boys.
The book will be officially released March 15 (through Amazon.com and Amazon.ca) but you can purchase now through at FitvsFiction.com.
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