A recent video that came through my timeline asked the question, “If you could change one thing about your body, what would it be?” I watched the video which featured several people saying things that they would change about their body if they could. I found myself drifting off, thinking and naming several things I would change and finding it difficult to name just one. Then the video took an intriguing turn; they asked the same question to children and also an elderly woman who had responses that just made you sit back and look differently at all those “things” you wish you could change. Before I get into my spiel, I want you to view the video if you haven’t and read a little about the creators.
Comfortable: 50 People 1 Question is the video from Jubilee Project. The video was featured on the Buzz Feed (I LOVE BF) website and I was so determined to find out the originators of this awesome video. I found it on YouTube under Jubilee Project. Adapted from their website,
Jubilee Project is a 501c3 that exists to tell stories that inspire change. We make short films, PSAs and documentaries in collaboration with non-profits to increase awareness and inspire action. Our vision is to produce entertaining content that will empower, enable, and inspire others to do good as well.
What an awesome cause and mission!
So, as I mentioned before when I first heard the question, “what would you change”, I found myself rattling off a few things. If you’ve heard in person or read my story here on She Experienced or in The Audacity of Beauty you will know that I struggled with self-esteem issues for a long time as a child and into my adulthood. While I take pride in having overcome the self-esteem issues that plagued me in my youth, this video made me aware that issues of self-consciousness are still with me; they are with us all. This video also took my back to my childhood when I didn’t have anything I wanted to change about myself. I loved my multi-colored skin, my curly hair that wouldn’t quite lay down and my big forehead. I didn’t see anything wrong with myself. I saw that little girl when I watched the children give their responses. It made me question, when did I start seeing the unique things about myself as bad? When did we develop the thought that if we changed our hair, our skin color, our weight or face structure that somehow we would be happier, more beautiful/handsome or better than what we are now?
One little girl in the video stated that she likes her body and she wouldn’t change anything. Experts say that the video is a great way of showing that everything we think is wrong with our bodies has been taught to us. “It’s 100 percent conditioned,” Sarah Maria, a body image expert and author of Love Your Body, Love Your Life, says. “Children don’t have that toxic condition in place. Not liking something is based on the idea that it’s not attractive, and that’s learned. There’s nothing natural about it.”
As children we have a certain innocence where we aren’t aware of the standards of beauty. When we are children we accept the world as it is and are likely to see people as a whole. But at what point in our lives do we become bogged down with issues of self-consciousness and low self-esteem? I do believe that it differs from child to child depending on family environment and how much popular media to which a child is exposed.
To keep your children and teens centered on being proud of their bodies instead of focusing on changes they’d like to make, it’s important for you as a parent to be positive yourself and model the self-esteem you want your children to have. Positive parental influence from the start can help prevent or at least lessen the negative influences of society. As adults, parents, influential adult figures, we have to be willing to look at some of the conditioning within ourselves and be willing to let go. Some people don’t realize, but they pass down their own self-esteem issues to their children and the cycle is repeated. The same self-esteem issues you grew up with, your child may begin to face those same things.
So, let’s start looking at ourselves and ask what ways of thinking about our ourselves do we need to change.
I’m curious to hear your thoughts, comment below and share them with me!
Until next time…