The Perfect Child as Told by the Media

Have you seen this video being made about the media selling women the idea that we must have perfect bodies to feel good about ourselves? It sounds like something we already know but it’s worth a look.

I don’t want to feel ‘silly’ about being played by the media. Biggest sceptic of mainstream media here! However, how true is this? This media driven campaign of body perfection infiltrates our minds the moment we can process pictures, billboards, TV. It feeds out brains, our souls and our actions. Not letting it is going to be far harder than watching a movie that calls out that bad behaviour from the media. At least it’s start though.

What about the perfection sold to us as necessary for our children? Kudos to you if you have a child who sits with their legs crossed and their backs straight. Stand proud if you have a child who can colour endlessly and draw pictures of perfect people using all the right colours standing under a rainbow. I know it sounds sarcastic but it’s not – you are one of the lucky ones. Your child fits the media mould.

Hands up if your child is literally bouncing off the walls all of the time, or if they can colour for about 0.2 seconds before wanting to go back to their building blocks to build ’em up high and smash them down again. Does your child refuse to do certain activities and throw some serious tantrums, in full view of everyone else? I’m sorry, your child doesn’t fit the mould of the media. They might not even fit the mould of mainstream education (kids that colour and sit in their seats tend to).

I’ve got to call this out, like that video. Some people have generally healthy lives and are full-figured. Some people have generally healthy lives and are skinny.

Some parents are good parents and their children are really bloody good at colouring and eating their vegetables. Some parents are good parents and their children can’t colour for the life of them and they might not like eating veggies either. 

The media has got me and got me good. I secretly wish my child was good at colouring. I secretly wish he was studious. I know I was. I really liked to colour and write and read. I am trying not to put that pressure on my children, but with future labels and fears of their adulthood simply because they don’t like colouring makes it pretty hard. You can thank the media for that one.

I grew up as a serial perfectionist and with an anxiety that had me crying before every test of the subject I wasn’t good at (Maths by the way). Not every child who likes to read and colour is going to turn out that way, like not every child who is bouncing off the walls and smashing building blocks is going to end up as an unruly adult.

I am calling it out on the media and its perfectionist children that don’t exist. I’m calling it out on myself who often posts photos of my children on Insta doing arts and crafts, even though that’s not even half their story. And I’m trying to tell myself of the above, every single day for the sake of enjoying my children and my children enjoying who they are. Like that video above though, it is so much easier said than done.

You?

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