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Belinda Palacios' Advice on Media and Body Image

Summer's here and teens are inundated with magazines, media and social media.
Media and Body Image

Summer's here and teens are inundated with magazines, media and social media of bikini shots and shirtless boys. Body image isn't just an issue for girls; boys can be victims of this issues as well (six pack, muscles, etc.). Media images are becoming less and less real and more airbrushed than ever. Teens struggle with early puberty as their body's are going through changes and awkward phases. Dance and sports can contribute to the issues.

What Parents Can Do:
- Help your teen recognize they are built a certain way and it is suited to them.

- Help teens indentigy what is realistic to change and what is not.

- Do not be overly critical or make negative comments about weight, facial features, etc. Help your teen stay away from negative self comments.

- This issue can morph into a bigger issue like body dysmorphia, anorexia and even bulimia. If these conditions are suspected, dig into it. Get assessment if needed and if a problem is identified seek professional help. 

PARENTING CHALLENGE: Talk with your kids about what is real versus what is unrealistic in the media concerning body image. Let them know that not everyone is the same and help them to develop a healthy self esteem by being realistic concerning appearance.  
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