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New Storybook Teaches Kids An Important Lesson On Loving Their BodiesTaking from their own experiences, two moms joined forces to harp on body positivityby Lei Dimarucut-Sison .
Being a parent is a lot more challenging these days than it has ever been. Bullying, gender identity, and inclusivity are just some of the social issues that we have to deal with, on top of the actual job of raising kids. Thankfully, we are also more aware of them through media and can do our research to address them.
The downside to being exposed to media is being drawn into the unrelenting quest to "be perfect:" the perfect kitchen, the perfect relationship, the perfect life — all of which, of course, are impossible to achieve. Trying to keep up could make one feel small and worthless, and may eventually lead to depression.
If statistics are a good indication, it appears this kind of mentality is ingrained in us at a very young age.
A brand campaign in the US found that 92% of teen girls "would like to change something about the way they look, with body weight ranking the highest."ADVERTISEMENT - CONTINUE READING BELOW
Another report states that 98% of girls "feel there is an immense pressure from external sources to look a certain way."
Not surprisingly, 1 in 4 girls become depressed, have eating disorders, and manifest other emotional disorder like anxiety as a result of this pressure, statistics show.CONTINUE READING BELOWRecommended Videos
What other parents are reading
Fueled by these astounding numbers strengthened by their real-life experiences, Ady Meschke and Katie Crenshaw, both of whom are moms from Atlanta, authored a new storybook entitled Her Body Can, which focuses on the very important topic of body positivity.ADVERTISEMENT - CONTINUE READING BELOW
"I really believe that if I’d had a book as a kid that taught this type of message, maybe it wouldn’t have taken me until I was 34 to be that confident. The book is definitely about teaching kids not only to accept and love themselves, but accepting and loving others for their differences too," Ady told Glamour.
The 33-page storybook, which was released last week, is targeting young readers ages 8 and below, an important stage for inculcating the message of body positivity before the kids become exposed to mainstream media and its unrealistic standards.ADVERTISEMENT - CONTINUE READING BELOW
In the same interview, Katie shared an incident with her third-grade son that made her realize why this subject should also be discussed in schools.
"It was shocking for me last year when my son came home from school, having learned about calories, and as a third grader, he was worried about what he could eat. He said the kids at school told him he would get fat if he ate too many calories and that he already had fat cheeks.
"Reliving that kind of hurt through your children is painful. We spent a lot of time talking about what calories actually are, why we need them, and why the size of our bodies doesn’t necessarily indicate health, but what about the kids that don’t get those conversations at home?" she said.
What other parents are reading
The authors said they made sure the book represents kids "of all different types: kids with different physical abilities, different hairstyles, different races, different sizes, and different religions. The pictures in this book say loud and clear, 'Everyone is equal.'" The beautiful illustrations by Li Liu help convey that.ADVERTISEMENT - CONTINUE READING BELOW
Ady adds, "It was really important to us to address specific restrictions that were imposed upon us growing up because of our size, and negate them.
"My whole life I heard, 'Don’t wear two-piece bathing suits, don’t wear white, don’t wear color, don’t wear crop tops,' so we made it a point to have our heroine wear every single thing we were told we couldn’t wear because of our size.ADVERTISEMENT - CONTINUE READING BELOW
"We want to change that narrative for the next generation of children."
Her Body Can is available for purchase on Amazon.
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