Lesson: Teaching Healthy Body Image to Boys
Body image is an important topic to discuss with both girls AND boys. Images found on social media, television, and movies that they are exposed to have an impact on them. However, the topic of maintaining a healthy body image is frequently overlooked in boys. From low self-esteem to mental disorders such as muscle dysmorphia, many issues can stem from a boy’s negative body image.
We talk a lot about body image in relation to self-esteem or self-worth. We talk to our girls about how the media distorts the way that their bodies “should” look and how to counteract that influence, but we frequently fail to notice the impact media has on our boys. It has become increasingly apparent that media does have an effect on a boy’s body image. As a result, more emphasis must be placed on talking with our boys about it.
- Help your son understand that he is a strong and unique individual who is loved because of who he is and that he is appreciated for his actions, talents, interests, and hobbies. Help him understand that his value should not be solely based on how much he works out at the gym, the sports he plays, or clothes he wears.
For more ideas on how to talk with your son about body image check out our book Messages About Me: Wade’s Story: A Boy’s Quest for Healthy Body Image.