Your family can influence the way you talk about and view your body

While the media does have a role to play in how we view our own body image, researchers also believe our own families can influence us as well.
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While the media does have a role to play in how we view our own body images, researchers also believe our own families can influence us as well.

In fact, comments or criticism about our looks from our loved ones can cause deep-rooted insecurities, especially in those early years.

Numerous studies have found that daughters tend to pick up their mothers’ attitudes and beliefs about body shapes, and sons are influenced by their fathers.

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How your family influences your body image

One study showed that children as young as three were influenced by their parents’ attitudes towards weight. Alarmingly, many parents were shocked to learn that their own insecurities were passed on.

When a parent is concerned with their own body image, they will be modelling behaviours that show their kids that ‘this is important’.

Meanwhile, being teased or weight shamed about one’s appearance by a sibling or family member was found to have had a negative impact on self-esteem.

“Even if they’re not mentioning the child’s physical appearance, they’re still acting in a way that suggests to the child, ‘this is something that worries me, this is something that I’m preoccupied with’, and so children pick up on that,” says Rachel Rodgers, a psychologist at Northeastern University.

“[For a child] social worth is contingent on their physical appearance, and that’s going to lead them to invest in it in terms of their self-esteem, as well as their time and energy.”

Another study of girls aged five to nine found that when a child played with an extremely thin doll, it changed their ideal body size to be thinner.

Women still feel pressured to look a certain way, a new study finds

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We’ve shifted away from waif-like Kate Moss body idols to celebrate those with curvier Kardashians-inspired booty and bust, but it seems women are still feeling pressured to look a certain way.

According to a recent study, experts looked into how changing beauty ideals are impacting women to feelings about the way they look. They found that while an hourglass figure is taking centre-stage women are still struggling with their body types.

They were categorised as ‘slim-thick’, ‘thin’ and ‘fit’

Researchers at York University in Toronto, Canada, showed female participants three photographs with different body types.

‘Slim thick’ is an hourglass figure with a bigger booty, bust and small waist as well as a flat stomach.‘Thin’ was of a picture of someone with a flat stomach and small waist, while ‘fit’ was a more athletic physique.

Participants were then asked to compare themselves to the photos and share their feelings on how these body types made them feel.

It turns out, that all three body types made the volunteers feel insecure about their own weight, appearance and overall body type.

The fuller hour-glass figure ideal is making women feel more self-conscious

It seems women felt more dissatisfaction with their weight and appearance when compared to ‘slim-thick’ women in the photographs. A.k.a., the shift towards a fuller, hourglass figure is making women more self-conscious.

Women still find this current body ideal unattainable, especially if celebrities have undergone plastic surgery.

“Cultural trends in Western media have recently shifted towards a curvier body type,” wrote Sarah McComb and Jennifer Mills, the two researchers conducting the study. 

“Heavier models may actually be the most harmful type of body ideal to women’s body image based on the current findings.” 

“We’re currently investigating if more women aspire to this ideal because they think it may be easier to attain than the thin ideal, which makes them feel disappointed when it’s more difficult to achieve than they initially expected.” 

We think women are beautiful, whatever their size and shape, and all bodies should be celebrated, whether they are big or small!

Hopefully, from now on, women feel less pressure to look a certain way and focus more on their health and being their best selves.

Ignore the body image pressure

The body image pressure put on women is incredible. Every day we are hit with media and social media images of the so-called ‘perfect look’.

We see fitness programs, celeb trainers and celebrities with weight loss programs promising that you can get their six-pack look in a matter of weeks – when we should be focusing on being healthy and giving ourselves a high five on juggling motherhood!

We also have peer pressure to look a certain way – which compounds the already DEAFENING noise around us to look a certain way.1604_THM_BA_SM_APRILmemes6 (1)

Mums and body image

This is an issue we’re passionate about at The Healthy Mummy. Our bodies after having babies are different – they may have stretch marks and mummy tummy, but they have carried our children.

It IS possible to be fit and healthy in a body that doesn’t look like a supermodel’s.


It’s never too late to start  – if you want to get fit and healthy right now, then join our 28 Day Weight Loss Challenge that is designed especially for mums.

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