I’m going to ask you to consider 3 little concepts:
- Be careful little eyes what you see;
- Be careful little ears what you hear;
- Be careful little feet where you go.
I can’t take credit for these concepts, they are from a song that my mom and I used to sing together when I was a young girl. Let’s discuss these concepts.
FIRST, we are constantly being sent messages through the television, movies, videos, and pictures and posts we see on Social Media. In all of them, people are “just right” – their body type, their clothes, their hair and their make-up are ALWAYS perfect. On TV, in the movies and in magazines, the actors you see are not true representations of who those people really are. Writers spend hours deciding exactly what the actors should say. The actors memorize the lines like you memorize your math facts and spelling words. They have other people who tell them what to wear, and even more people who do their hair and make-up, and make them look different than they would if you walked by them in Walmart. Most of the pictures you see in magazines are photo-enhanced – they use computers to change the pictures, so the people don’t even look like themselves once you see it. Even on social media (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, YouTube – and ALL of the others), the pictures and videos are almost always “the best” of that person, not the REAL way they look every day.
WHAT TO DO: Try to see these things for what they are – a show, a production, entertainment…NOT real life. These things you see aren’t all bad, UNLESS you start using these to judge yourself or others in a negative way. If you notice yourself doing this, STOP that behavior and go to someone you trust – your parents, an aunt or uncle or a teacher – and discuss what you are seeing and your impressions of what you are seeing.
WHAT TO DO: Take a stand – DECIDE to make choices about WHO you to listen to. CHOOSE people who are supportive and honest. IGNORE people who are negative and purposely hurtful – they aren’t your friends anyway.
Above all, I want to leave you with a final suggestion: LEARN TO LOVE YOURSELF for your strengths and abilities, NOT the number on a scale or the size of your clothes. There is SO much more to you than any one number. We are all created with special and unique talents, strengths and abilities. Try figuring out what yours are – make a list of them, and ask the people you trust to help you. Then, focus on adding more things to your list. Your talents, strengths and abilities are what help you improve YOURSELF, and in turn, your school, your community and the world around you. THOSE are the things that matter, THOSE will be your footprint on this planet, not how much you weigh, what size you wear, or how big or small you are.