We have all known for a long time that both teenage girls and pre-teen girls have had body issues. We know that society can shape the ideas that these kids have about themselves. But over the last while it seems that things just might have gotten worse.
A new University of Central Florida study has found that girls as young as 3 are having body image issues. That was no typo; as many as half of the 3 - 6 year old girls tested think that they might be fat. That is a scary thought.
The upside to this is that girls who watch a Disney princess movie with their characteristically thin and attractive stars are not things that would increase their anxiety levels. The study was conducted by psychology professor Stacey Tantleff-Dunn.
It seems that there are no immediate effects for the girls but she worries about their futures. As we all should because anytime a 3 year old is concerned about her appearance we all need to be concerned.
More than simply being concerned about the emotional well being of our youngest kids we must begin to think about why our kids are thinking this way. What is it about our society that has kids between 3 and 6 concerned about their weight or their hair color? Maybe they think that their teeth aren't as white as they would like or maybe their skin is not to their liking. Who knows?
Whatever it might be we need to figure it before we get these kids into teenage hood because you never know just what might happen then. The last thing we need is for even more teenage girls to develop body issue problems and attempt to lose weight by whatever extreme methods they might conceive of.
While it is a good thing that animated movies don't yet appear to be of issue to the girls we must begin to think of what society is doing and we need to attempt to try to find a way to fix it. We cannot continue to have our little girls be concerned about such things, can we?
So what do we do? Well, I am the last one to have any ideas on 3 year old girls. This concerns me though because I have a 3 year old granddaughter and the last thing I want to have to worry about is if she feels comfortable being herself. Her family, including myself, love her just the way she is and hopefully she'll come to understand that she is ok just the way she is.