Your teen’s self esteem can be shaped by many factors, often these are beyond your control. Girls, in particular, are frequently measuring themselves up against one another as well as what society’s version of attractive is seen to be via social media, advertising, film, print media and the like.
On many occasions I have heard a teen girl lament that she is too short, too overweight, not pretty enough and the list goes on. When questioned as “to whose standards?”, often shoulders are raised in a shrug and the meek answer of “everybody” is whispered. Really, what are we (the collective – WE – as in contemporary society) doing to our kids and their sense of worth?
There are girls who measure their social standing and acceptability to peers in terms of a number – that being the number of Facebook likes or shares that a filtered pic featuring obligatory sultry pose and pouty lips gets. Others feel that they are OK if they have a ‘gap’ – box or thigh – being equally acceptable.
Images that they are aspiring too are less authentic than Dolly Parton’s boobs, yet with the wonderment of technology they can appear deceptively real and therefore even possibly attainable …. to a 14 year old girl (or thereabouts) seeking acceptability amongst her tribe.
Although I’m sure we’ve all seen the snaps of Hollywood A-listers sprung without makeup, their very celebrity makes any plain-Jane moments still seem more than a world away. Not real enough, is it?
But this 37 second clip is.
This short video has been going a little bit viral this week. Deservedly so. It’s a quick but powerful reminder of how perception is created. Clever people with computers are engineering the vision of perfect that our teens … usually girls … are aspiring to and remember, our sons are being bombarded with this too.
I hope you take the time to show this to your teen, I’d love to know their reaction to this. And yours too!