Last week the brilliant Iskra Lawrence launched a petition on change.org calling for children to receive self-care lessons in school. It’s really got me thinking, how could these classes help future generations? And would it have helped my own self-care issues?
For as long as I can remember I’ve worried about my body shape. It’s a part of self-care I’ve always struggled with. I struggled to love myself, because I hated the way I looked. Ever since I was a little girl. It’s so sad, and I despair over how much time I’ve lost worrying over my appearance.
I’m not sure where my body confidence issues come from, I’d be lying if I said it was simply the media. I’ve always been different looking-something I love now, but something I really struggled with growing up. I’m short, big boobed and beautifully chubby faced! I’ve grown into my features more, but probably because I’ve become more confident and gained the understanding that everyone looks different, and that’s a bloody good thing. When you’re younger anything different is scary, horrible and hidden away. But what if we really teach children HOW to celebrate their differences? How powerful this would be.
If these classes taught children that the way the media portrays women is through distorted images, unattainable ideals and only represents a few, then surely this would help. Making this a talking point amongst children could aid peer pressure, teaching young people how to feel confident, proud of who they are and not to pick on people who aren’t the same as them. This could not only benefit body issues, but issues surrounding race, class and sexism. Most bullies pick on people because of their own issues, empowering them in self-care could benefit many.
Surely a focus on how to look after yourself isn’t something that would harm any child, so why not try it? Let’s attempt something new and not just expect things to get better by themselves. One thing I know for sure is when I have my own children I’ll make sure that they know how amazing they are, and that aesthetics are always trumped by kindness, intelligence and joy. Body confidence and self-care shouldn’t be something we have to champion, it should be something instilled in us.