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Does watching professional sports, such as football or baseball, contribute to a negative body image?
Kids absorb more messages about body image from what you say and do than anything else. What you say about the players on the field, the commercials that run during sports games, the half-time game, even the announcers -- everything has an impact. And it's a great opportunity to stress a positive body image and reinforce your values.
Watching sports as a family is a great pleasure, and many adults have wonderful memories of snuggling on the sofa catching a game with their parents. Take the opportunity to add your two cents about the action to ensure that your values are reinforced.
Here are some things to point out:
- Emphasize the idea that athletes work hard to achieve their goals -- it's not about what they look like but how they perform on the field.
- Acknowledge the lack of women involved in these events except for, most likely, on the sidelines in skimpy cheerleading outfits. The ads that run during these events often objectify women, too, and can be used as a conversation starter.
- Talk about the food advertised during games. Is it healthy, or is it junk?
- Discuss how the announcers talk about the players. Do they call male players "men" but refer to women as "girls?" Do they stress the positives: the workouts, the team playing, the discipline?