Encouraging Healthy Bodies and Minds
Have you checked in on the state of your body and mind recently? An important aspect to achieving success is a healthy body and a healthy mind, fed with proper nutrition and adequate physical exercise, positive messages, and balanced perspective—in addition to financial stability.
I personally pay a lot of attention to the media and its influence on our perceptions of reality. Media is a big influencer in how we view ourselves. As I heard recently, "once you see something, you can't 'un-see' it." Isn't this the truth? When we see an image portraying women and girls in a way that focuses on physical beauty and sexuality verses inner beauty and empowerment, without even thinking about it, we tuck this in our minds. These images influence how men and boys view and treat women and girls, and how women and girls view and treat ourselves. Ultimately, they can adjust our perception of a healthy reality, and cause us to easily lose site of what is healthy - healthy relationships, healthy body image, healthy ways to talk about ourselves and to others, and so on.
There are a number of resources to help women and girls learn more about this topic or feel inspired and good about themselves. A few I really like include Pigtail Pals Ballcap Buddies, 7 Wonderlicious, Dove's self-esteem resources, and New Moon Girls, to name a few. If you know of others, please let me know.
I'm inspired by organizations doing good work on this topic locally, like Girls Inc. of Greater Indianapolis, who is hosting "Body Appreciation Day" today, a day to "promote positive body image, celebrate the body as a valuable resource, and champion inner beauty" (The Indianapolis Star). They are hosting free fitness classes at the Veterans Memorial Plaza today. I was inspired by this photo of a mother and daughter doing yoga together this morning.
I agree that mothers are the biggest influencers of their daughters self-image, and I celebrate this mom and so many others who are sharing positive images. Although I have a son, please share your suggestions about how you create healthy opportunities like this mom did. And, check out this 60 second video from "To Get Her There" (togetherthere.org), a Girl Scouts of the USA leadership campaign.
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