October 11, 2013
What is “perfect”?
A healthy sense of self can make a profound difference in how a person feels and functions, especially when that person is a young boy or girl. Youth must endure so much torment where their bodies and self-image are concerned. In order to have a positive self-image, one needs to have self-respect, a sense of self-worth, a feeling of basic goodness about oneself. Low self-esteem can mean constant self-doubt and self-criticism, social anxiety, and isolation, suppressed anger, loneliness, and even shame. We develop our self-image during childhood and certain experiences may interfere with its development. Family members and relationships, peers and the media can greatly affect the self-image as well as body-image of young people. Relationships play an important role in the way a young person views him/herself, whether with friends or with family. Some of the first friends we have in life are our siblings or cousins. This fact causes young people to often be more critical of one another. Expecting them to rise to a higher standard, because they are “family” as well as putting pressure on themselves to measure up to their perceived smarter or more attractive family members. Fear of failing therefore embarrassing their families can cause severe anxiety and feelings of low self-worth. A younger brother or sister often feels inferior or less attractive than older siblings. Cousins unnecessarily compete with each other in areas of athletics, academics and looks, height, and
weight. The concerns and pressures contribute to decreased body-image and self -dissatisfaction. Parents tend to become less positive and more critical regarding their children’s appearance, eating, and physical activity as they move through their teen years. Parental over-concern with children being thin or encouragement to avoid being fat can influence young people to become constant dieters and use unhealthy weight control...
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