Body discrimination must stop!
As social media is a huge part of every Filipina or any person who grew up in the Philippines, where beauty lies in the number of likes, the perception and projection of what a person should look like has always been about how you look good on Instagram and Facebook.
Nowadays, posts of a “perfect” body and face could easily make someone feel less about herself, because she does not look “that way.” What’s even worse is that the validation she wants only come from the total number of likes of her post or the number of those who viewed her story.
The youth, especially teenage girls, who are much more prone to this, must learn at a very young age that that should not be their basis of beauty.
How to teach a young lady to love herself? Here are the ways:
- It starts at home
A recent study revealed that over half of the world’s girls have low self esteem, resulting in being at risk of health issues such as eating disorders.
There is no better place than home to get the best counsel about feeling good about yourself. A space with your family should be a child’s sanctuary, where she could freely express herself. Talk carefully with your kid about the changes in her body and say things without hurting her feelings. Be aware of the words you say, because that will be her guide when it’s time for her to face the bigger world outside your house.
- Don’t make a space for stereotyping
People, especially those in the Internet world, have false notions of an ideal appearance, which should not have a place among family and friends.
Impressions such as “Ang ganda niya kasi maputi,” and “Mas maganda ka kung straight ang hair mo” should be eradicated from your group of beauty repertoire.
An advocate said, “Filipinos should stop commenting on physical traits bantering as if it’s a form of affection.”
People should learn to make conversations about other things that do not concern on pinpointing every physical attribute that could become a girl’s insecurity when she grows up.
- Be an example
A young girl naturally admires her parents, teachers, and other close individuals in her early years. Therefore, these people should be the sources of thoughts on how to build self-esteem and positive outlook in life.
Make sure that the comments you make about yourselves and others are positive ones, which a girl could pick up during the stage of building her confidence.
Also, be a listener of anything they want to say, so they know they have a friend in you and that it’s okay to come to you for anything.
- Encourage social media literacy
An image is not called “image” if it’s not true to its meaning. As per Google dictionary, “it is a representation of the external form of a person or thing in art,” so a person’s beauty does not just end there because she still has her inner form.
As banning kids from going online is quite unavoidable, strengthening their social media literacy could be the best option to give them.
Teens should learn about “healthy skepticism” to discern truths from falsehoods in social media. Moreover, learning that could repel their anxieties through a smarter and more nuanced approach.
To sum it all,
Encourage kids to learn body positivity and gain confidence by having conversations with them at home. Learn their language and be mindful of the thoughts and words shared inside your house that may affect their own perception of beauty.