Why Body Image Talk Should Involve the Whole Family

Do you have chats with your male partner, son or grandson about their body image? My clients tell me that this conversation takes place in families but it's mostly "behind closed doors" and usually between girls and women but not as a family unit.


I think this needs to shift!




LET'S TALK!



The guys in our lives also struggle with body image. They have eating disorders and struggle with dieting too! From my experience there is a lot less support for the guys in our lives around this struggle.


I'm hoping to have more discussion around this! My husband 100% has just as many body image issues as I do. He struggles with how his body has changed as we age, JUST LIKE I HAVE. And how do I know? We talk about it.

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It hasn't always been that way. I used to struggle in silence and not talk about it at all! Now we chat about it together how this part has changed and how we are struggling with certain areas of our body. GUESS what happens....compassion, empathy, understanding and LOVE and we get closer because of it.


If you haven't been open and transparent about your own body image struggles with your family, can this change?



Body image conversations can involve the whole family


Men struggle with body image just like we do!



Can you start today by bringing up something you are feeling about your body and ask your family members "how do you feel about your body today?"

Our body image isn't static. It changes EVERYDAY. Some days we will feel more confident and other days we will struggle more. This is totally normal! And on those days that are more difficult, you CAN talk about that with your family?


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You can say things like:

"I just want you to know I'm not feeling very comfortable in my body today. Do you have days like this?"

"I'm not feeling very confident today so I'm having some resistance want to go to ______ (the party, the event, the work event). I may need to lean on you a bit more today. Have you ever felt that way?"

To your kiddos: "Hey, how are you feeling about your body lately? Are you struggling with anything? Have you had to deal with any comments from other kids that are hard?"


Your whole family can share how diet culture and other people are effecting how they feel about themselves

This doesn't need to be a "closed door discussion." It can be a dinner table conversation or a bedtime chat. It can be a chat while you are driving to get groceries or waiting in your car a drive through.

There are definitely chats that will need to be discussed in more detail in private BUT normalizing the ability to have conversation is key.


Opening up about what you feel AND asking if they have had the same experience can open up some amazing discussions. Can you be more open to inspire others to do the same?





References:

1. https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/men-affected-by-body-image-issues-are-finally-speaking-out-1.4907545

2. Men’s Body Image: The Effects of an Unhealthy Body Image on Psychological, Behavioral, and Cognitive Health Amanda Baker and Céline Blanchard Additional information is available at the end of the chapter http://dx.doi.org/10.5772/intechopen.75187

3. https://mic.com/articles/123999/7-lies-we-need-to-stop-telling-about-men-s-struggles-with-body-image#.QP0NZtz5B

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