Stories about: self-esteem

Viral video exposes extreme airbrushing that could impact body image

The “BodyEvolution” video, posted in 2011 and 2012, has gone viral, again. The video captures the extent and ease of airbrushing in popular media and may reminds parents of its detrimental effects on kids.

Teens are bombarded with images of perfectly sculpted models, and it’s not uncommon for them to crave a similar look and physique. “[It’s] completely unattainable, because the photos have been extensively altered,” says Alison Field, ScD, of Boston Children’s Hospital’s Division of Adolescent Medicine.

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"What I wish parents knew about eating disorders…"

In the following blog, a teenager who has overcome an eating disorder reflects on what she wishes more parents knew about the condition. For more information visit Children’s Center for Young Women website, or this parent’s guide to eating disorders.

It was never about weight. I just wanted to feel like I had some control.

I never thought I was fat. In fact, I liked the way I looked before I developed an eating disorder and liked my body less and less as I continued to lose weight. What a lot of people, including my parents, didn’t understand is that an eating disorder functions as a coping mechanism for other problems in someone’s life.

As I met more people who suffered from eating disorders, I realized that many of us had something in common. Many felt some sort of loss of control in their life and had used their eating disorder as a reaction or way to deal with it. Although for some people bad body image did play a large role in what started their eating disorder, for a lot of people it was the feeling of losing control in their life that they discovered was the initial cause of their eating disorder.

People with anorexia nervosa feel like they are able to gain control through extreme dieting and strict rules around food. They control what they eat, and eventually the shape and size of their body. Although it is an unhealthy coping mechanism, the eating disorder gives them a sense of relief that there is one thing in their life they can completely control without anyone else being able to have an influence.

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Beauty in all forms

Have you heard about the latest video taking the internet by storm? It’s a catchy little song from the folks on Sesame Street, praising the beauty of natural hair.

‘I Love my Hair’ was written by Joey Mazzarino, head writer of Sesame Street, after he heard his adopted daughter complaining her hair didn’t look anything like the long, blonde hair of her Barbie dolls.

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Parental bullying and overweight kids

Bored ChildOverweight kids can fall victim to all kinds of bullying. From name calling to playground confrontations, studies show heftier kids are more likely to be the target of bullying than children with smaller body sizes.

But what’s a kid to do when he or she is feeling bullied at home because of their weight? A recent news story by CNN focused on a young girl whose family called her names like “Twinkie” and “Gordita” and nagged her about food choices, thinking their criticism would inspire her to lose weight. In actuality the abuse caused her to eat even more, turning to food for the comfort and support she wasn’t offered by her family.

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