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Shape-up or Shake-Up?

Posted May 16 2011 3:02pm
By Carol Harblin (CHHC)

Pre-teen and teenage girls do not need any more help having body image disturbances. We need to encourage authenticity and attaining a true self. Of course it is nice to feel good having a body that is in shape, but it we should not base our existence on our outward appearances.

The new Shape-Up sneakers are causing an uproar today in the media. They are being marketed to pre-teen girls and teen girls via cartoon commercials on the TV channel Nick. These commercials are sending messages to these impressionable girls to look like these skinny girls on TV in stead of appreciating themselves for who they are and embracing their unique body image.

It is important to be active. I am the first person to tell a person the importance of walking and being active outside or in a gym or with a sport; however, at the same time, we should not knock ourselves out trying to fit that societal image just to please others and the status symbols.

When we try to please others to fill these roles and images we are setting ourselves up for disappointment and possibly an eating disorder or even a chemical addiction.

The Shape-Ups for girls are only marketed to girls....but why not boys? Don't we want to see them shape up too? If these shoes are meant to help reduce that childhood obesity then let's market them for boys too. But first and foremost, it's not about the special shoes...it's about portion control and staying active. Do not portion out adult size portions to your kid and expect them to clean their plate. Kids stomachs are much smaller than an adults.

The idea that the marketing was slanted toward girls also makes it somewhat sexist too! It's almost telling us and the children to maintain that image or you won't be liked anymore.

Girls are going to look at the fashion magazines and teen girl magazines soon enough - it's human nature....we all perused those magazines. What's important is that they know enough to NOT compare themselves to those airbrushed images.

Learn to love who we are and appreciate our friends and people around us for who and what they are.

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