Self-Evaluation: Internal or External?
Society is being exposed to media messages from a younger and younger age, which emphasize the importance of our physical characteristics, and the quest for 'perfection'. We and our children (metaphorically speaking), are being told through pictures, words, and implied expectations that our/their worth is based on weight, clothing size, performance, etc., instead of who we truly are INSIDE. This emphasis actually prevents many people from even considering their worth on an internal basis, which disconnects them from who they are. The importance of understanding and accepting that our physical characteristics are genetically based, and not meant for us to alter artificially or through dieting is crucial in the prevention of eating disorders. So how can we help ourselves and the young people in our lives to begin to evaluate and embrace their worth based on their personalities, their values, and their artistic talents? I believe that this can come back to our own self-talk, the comments we make about ourselves in front of others...the example that we set. Education about the fallicies of the media images and the superficiality of focusing on our external 'beauty' is also critical for a more healthy outlook.