The 21st century is the era of various social malignancies affecting the young. A major one that has taken birth with the turn of the century is body dysmorphia, stemming from a concept known as body shaming. Body dysmorphia involves disproportionate fears about imaginary contortion of the body. It is an obsessive preoccupation with a perceived flaw. The primary aggressor for this condition in young children is social media.
People on the internet are more often than not, cruel with words. Young teens are exposed to undue insecurities on the face of impossible body and beauty standards early on life. Even the mere expression ‘fat’ and calling one that can be a highly sensitive issue, for children are too sensitive these days. Media is full of jokes, humour and even pop culture representations of normal body sizes. Culture creates an idea of the perfect and ideal body type which is impossible to realize. The result is nothing but undue pressure on young kids that in turn develops into an array of psychological illnesses.
It is important for us to check the social media consumption of our children and especially censor the content they consume. Kids these days need to develop self-esteem more than anything else from a very early age. The lack of self-esteem is a big problem that kids have to deal with on a daily basis that leads to larger problems in the future. It is necessary that we do not leave our kids alone, unguided to fend for themselves in a world with many riddles today. Love and support in the family and peer group can go a long way in helping our children build robust self-esteem that defeats the menace of body shaming.