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 Girls, Boys and body image 
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I was shocked to hear yesturday about body image and how girls as young as 8 are going on diets. To me, that's absurd and shouldn't be tolorated by parents, because if I had a child that young, I wouldn't let them go on a diet unless they were unhealthy. However, sex continues to sell and I don't see the advertisement industry changing anytime soon. As long as there are ads, there will be 6ft tall women with flawless features on ad. However, maybe we as teachers can help these girls feel better by educating them on body image and how the ads are fake to begin with. I've heard of school's having workshops on self esteem and positive body image, so maybe if more schools adopt programs like that, we can have a healthier student body.

I know we didn't talk about it much yesturday, but I'm sure boys have problems with self esteem and image too. I've heard of boys who are disappointed with the way they look because they're too short, too tall, too fat, too skinny, ect. I know most girls strive for the 'supermodel' body, but what about guys? I've heard about young men wanting to be 'buff' and look like a football player, and will even go as far as to take steriods and stuff like that. Again, perhaps education about steriods will help the problem.

Last but not least, I thought about the short discussion about the parent who tried to pay her daughter to lose weight. If I was the daughter, I would probably react the same way. Instead, why not try to diet and excercise WITH the child? It'll give mother and daughter a chance to bond and do some healthy things together. I know that solution was mentioned in class, but lets face it, it makes sense.

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Jessey Pace


Fri Apr 10, 2009 11:23 am
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I think you shouldn't ever let it get to the point where a adolescent has to go on a diet. As a parent, it is a responsibility to teach your child healthy habits. However, I know for some it is much easier to let them have what they want. I think this school is an important place to teach healthy habits too, because if it sticks with a student, then maybe they can bring knowledge to the rest of their family. It is sad that advertisements can make young girls have a bad self-image. I think this is also another reason to promote HEALTHY. Not SKINNY. And educate them to know that everyone comes in all shapes in sizes. Not always a 00.

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Rebecca Mccollum


Sun Apr 12, 2009 9:50 pm
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The thing that was absent from the movie was some very important facts about fashion. This may sound uncanny a guy to know lol but i was watching a special on tv and they said that the reason models are so skinny and why it then effects the rest of the female population is because designers dont want curvy or big women wearing their clothes down the run way. Now this may be a no brainer to everyone but the reason for this is because they said they want the focus of the buyer and the viewer at the fashion shows and in the magazines to be on the product which is the clothes and not the woman. The woman most desired by designers are the ones so skinny and slender because they resemble what they are meant to be which is a clothes hanger. If we can explain this type of information to our kids and tell them that god or whoever you believe or dont believe in intended us to be unique and beautiful in our own body size and shape and that being an individual at whatever size is special and beautiful. Also on a side note i believe that most men today like curvy women and full figured women compared to veryy skinny and tall women. just my opinion though.

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Brandon Knox


Wed Apr 15, 2009 7:16 pm
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I was not shocked at all to hear that girls as young as 8 years-old are going on diets! I remember I was made fun of in elementary school--kids can be cruel! When I was young, I use to come home so upset because kids would tell me that I was ugly, and then they would tell me that I couldn't play with them. I believe that teachers and parents help mold the mindset of a child. If it wasn't for my mom, I wouldn't have maintained such a positive, healthy view of myself.

An example of how teachers can affect how adolescents view one another is my 5th grade experience. Our class was literally divided between the "popular" kids and the other kids. Everyone in our class was part of the "group," except for me and two other girls--our desks happened to be in the back of the classroom, while the popular kids were all in the front. Even though our class was segregated this way, the teacher did nothing to change the seating arrangements. It was horrible, and I blame the teacher. She should have made us one big group. I don't think that she realized that segregated seating can have an impact on how a student views him or her self!

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Ericka Griffin


Wed Apr 15, 2009 7:29 pm
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As a future elementary teacher, I feel that a lot of this topic rests on my shoulders. Students need to learn at an early age that eating right will not only keep them healthy, but it will make them grow taller and stronger (and what kid doesn't wanna grow stronger?). I think that if they saw their teachers eating healthfully, and enough emphasis was put on good eating habits, then my hope would be that they would keep those good habits while at home with their families. Teachers could also tell their kids something like, "going outside and playing longer will also keep you healthier" so that the kids can get the right amount of exercise as well. My only concern is the food that cafeterias offer children at school. Often times it is not the healthiest, and many times that contributes to children not wanting to eat healthy because they just want to go after "what is good." This is a problem that I am still not quite sure how to deal with yet...

Teachers also need to be on the lookout for any signs of eating disorders and do something about them IMMEDIATELY. Just caring for the student and showing him/her proper love and care would help tremendously as well.


Thu Apr 16, 2009 12:32 pm
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Erika, I think that your 5th grade teacher needs to go back through teacher education, today. We can make up all kinds of excuses for her, but really she just needed to find ways to make her class a WHOLE and not just allow the split.
I know that I can be oblivious to things as obvious as people being left out sometimes and I'm afraid this will carry over into my class. I'm just hoping I catch things before it gets too late and people get hurt.

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Amy Harrelson


Thu Apr 16, 2009 12:38 pm
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Brandon, I'm glad to hear that there are men out there who like a woman with some curves. I think statements like that from men would help girls rethink their body images and can appreciate their bodies.
All my life (until about 2 years ago) I've struggled with gaining weight. Everyone thought I was anorexic, which really hurt and wasn't true. I just never gained weight and I hated it. Then out of nowhere (or maybe it's just because I got older, who knows) I gained 20 pounds over about a year and a half and got some curves. I'm a lot happier with the way I look now that I went from 95 lbs to 115 lbs. I guess being petite for so long helped me with not judging a book by it's cover. I learned that just because a person is skinny does not mean they have an eating disorder and that overweight people shouldn't be judged either

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Jessey Pace


Thu Apr 16, 2009 7:08 pm
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It's interesting to me that we're so concerned with the body's image and not so much with what we put into it. If you eat a nutritious diet and exercise for fun! (Playing outside, hiking etc) then you're not going to ever have problems with weight. So while parents are trying to get their kids on "diets" why don't' they encourage them to eat what makes them feel better physically? I know that I don't feel good after I eat something at Macdonald's even though it might help an emotional craving by paying attention to my physical self I know that it does not feel good to eat something that's unhealthy.

Sex does sell and we as a society don't like to talk about or fully understand our sexuality. I think that as we come to understand ourselves as human beings who are in it to please ourselves sexually instead of an object that pleases another then we will be more happy with our own image. We aren't just attractive for what's on the outside or even for what kind of equipment we may have (referring to Thursday's class). We are attractive because of who we are, what we think of ourselves, how we act as a result, not because of how tall, short, thin, fat we may think we are. And, if you are happy with yourself, you're more likely to eat in ways that are good for you and guess what, you'll be your idea weight as a result.

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Christopher M. McKinney


Fri Apr 17, 2009 10:47 am
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This is such an interesting topic because it's not one I think easily tackled and that has affected all of us in one or another. I know being a girl, I have struggled with body image from a very young age when I noticed that my body was different from all the other little girls. From that point on it seemed a constant struggle of wanting what I couldn't have because genetically it is impossible. I still struggle with it when I watch movies or look at magazines, even though I know better, I still find myself saying I want legs like that, hair like that, to look like her, etc. We place so much emphasis on the outward appearance, because we believe that the outside reflects what's on the inside. However, this is not true at all.

I think we have to tackle this issue one by one, starting with ourselves. We need to start believing in the beauty of diversity. We need to reject our own prejudices against ourselves and accept that we are beautiful, inside and out. And yes we do need to push being healthy, whatever that looks like for each person. Then when we accept ourselves we can help our friends, parents, and students. But we do need to practice what we preach and vice versa. Positive body image is a huge issue that I want to teach in my classroom no matter the age, we need to start as early as possible.

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Kayla Danielle Keidel


Sun Apr 19, 2009 12:22 pm
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I have to make a quick comment about sex sells and how it is related to food. I never realized how blatant food commercials are about comparing their food to sex. I dont even see how they could be televised. There is one with a woman wearing a very low cut dress sitting and eating a hardees burger, "indulging" in a very sexual way, there was one point the camera moved down so her chest was in the middle of the screen and cut off half her head! Also has anybody seen those quiznos commercials talking about the torpedo sandwich. I mean come on, that's not even trying to cover up. The problem is the advertising and such is not improving, its getting worse, even now when obesity is such a problem.

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Caitlin Cashman


Sun Apr 19, 2009 3:21 pm
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It really is crazy how young girls are that are starting to be concerned with weight. I tutored last semester and these young girls were literally asking me if they were beautiful and telling me how fat they thought they were. Its so important for us to encourage! Also, I think it would be super helpful to show girls this video or ones like it that would help show how crazy some of the images we see are!

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Jessie Stafford


Sun Apr 19, 2009 8:29 pm
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i agree that it is crazy that girls that young have these body image issues. I am interning at an elementary school and it is clear already that the "popular" girls are the pretty skinny girls while the girls that are over-weight are not. Also even the kids i babysit refer to people as "the fat kid" and say mean hurtful things. I think parents need to step in and let kdis know that that is not appropriate and teach them that you do not have to be a certain size or look a certain way to be pretty. I know that parents can not change the media or even what goes on in school, but even a little you look pretty is always nice to hear.

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Molly K Maness


Mon Apr 20, 2009 6:14 pm
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As a guy, I certainly see things differently than women. Personally, I do not find many of the supermodels on runways very attractive at all (serious). I do find some models who are not so skinny their ribs show attractive, but that is few and far between. I have only had three girlfriends in my life (including my current one) thus far and if things go as I hope, I will only have ever had three girlfriends. One recurring problem that I had with each one though, was that they never seemed to believe me when I told them how beautiful they were to me at some of the most random times. I personally am very attracted to a girl without makeup and wearing no jewelry (a ring is OK). So that means that often times when each of my girlfriends thought/felt ugly because of no makeup, being sweaty, bad hair, etc, I personally saw them as being absolutely, knock my socks off, head over heels beautiful.

Now, as for guys being pressured into looking a certain way. I have definitely been under pressure, mostly from myself, to look good. I am certainly the jealous type of boyfriend and I have always made it a point do my best to make myself look as good, or possibly better than other males so that my girlfriend will be more attracted to me than others. I also make it a point to maintain a healthy lifestyle in many areas of which my physical health is one of them.

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Do you not know that in a race all the runners run but only one wins the prize? Run in such a way as to win the prize.


Wed Apr 22, 2009 7:56 pm
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