Our children (and we) are bombarded with unrealistic and dangerous advertisements everywhere we go.
We can’t protect our children from these images and messages, but we can speak up and let them know how dangerous these images and concepts are to us as women, daughters, sons, fathers, and human beings.
Unrealistic advertising hurts our kids, and it hurts us. It is not benign.
Although everyone says they are not impacted by advertising, the fact is that we are all susceptible to its subconscious power to influence what we think is “normal” and beautiful. This leads to unrealistic expectations for ourselves and our children.
No matter how smart you are, and no matter how smart you think your children are, don’t be silent when it comes to advertising images and messages. Make sure you speak up every single time you see something that suggests impossible beauty standards or Photoshops away individual character.
Talk to your kids about how Photoshop has completely overtaken media, and that nobody can possibly look as good as the models do. Even “real people” on social media use apps to adjust themselves. They whiten their skin, remove “extra fat,” and slenderize themselves beyond recognition.
Our children deserve to feel good about themselves regardless of the size of their waist or color of their skin. They deserve to be more than a Photoshopped rendition of themselves.
Here’s a great TED Talk by Jean Kilbourne about the dangers of advertising and how it impacts us as a society.
Ginny Jones is the editor of More-Love.org. She writes about parenting, body image, disordered eating, and eating disorders. Ginny is also a Parent Coach who helps parents handle their kids’ food and body issues.