The average American sees over 3,000 pieces of advertising in one day! This afternoon as I was riding with my daughter I noticed an ‘ad’ at the bus stop for a new TV show. It was not clear what it was about but there were 3 very modellish looking females. I mentioned the above statistic to my daughter and asked her if she had noticed the bus stop ‘ad’? Yes she had, but as we had a conversation I was slightly surprised that she did not really think anything of it, as in her mind she did not take any notice of it. (That’s subliminal advertising for you!) When we talked further about this and about the images society portrays, she slowly realised that many times in a day she is confronted with an ‘image’ of what a girl should look like and what society is trying to portray as stunning.
Yesterday I was reading a blog ‘enough’ by Katrina Anne Wallisworth. Katrina has struggled since her youth with a food eating disorder associated with body image. Today as a mature adult she continues to struggle but has worked through so much associated with the pressures our society puts on kids of today. As a mother of 4 children she writes the following:
“Such pressure exists for our young people to achieve a level of perceived perfection. Get good grades, participate in extra-curricular activities, achieve a societal standard of physical acceptance and run yourself ragged trying.
Here’s what I’d like our kids to hear instead:
Do your best,
help those less fortunate,
make healthy choices,
embrace what makes you different and unique,
make your focus outward.
We need to be encouraging our kids to know it is ok not to go with the crowd. We need to be educating our kids to think carefully about the advertising around them. Conversations need to be happening around the dinner table so kids can debrief the pressures of their world and know that they have what it takes!