Health

This Mom's Photos Nail the Dangers of Body Shaming Ourselves in Front of Our Kids

April 4th 2016

By:
Laura Donovan

An Australian photographer gained traction on Facebook and Instagram for her anti-body shaming photo project: One of her images highlights the potential consequences of personal body shaming in front of one's kids.

Lacey Barratt, whose anti-body shaming photo series is called the Humans Uncensored Project, shared a photo on Facebook and Instagram of a mother wearing nude underwear beside her children. For the photo caption, Barratt wrote that she realizes her daughter is listening when she is judgmental about her own body, and that it's important to remember kids are paying attention to the way we treat ourselves. The woman in the photo is another mother, but it was confirmed to ATTN: via email that Barratt wrote the caption.

"I find myself getting ready to leave for places," Barratt wrote. "Looking in the mirror, putting on makeup, checking myself out. Silently judging. Whilst I am self absorbed in myself...I fail to realize my pre-teen is staring at me from the open bathroom door. She is watching me, my body language, my facial expressions and judging me judge myself. It is hard to remember that my children are sponges..and what I put out to them, they take it all in...."

Many of Barratt's fans have shown support for the project and the sentiment behind the photo.

Facebook

Barratt told ATTN: via email that while her pre-teen daughter hasn't confronted over Barratt's self-critique. However, Barratt has come to see that children are "soaking up everything you put out to them."

"The hardest part I find to differentiate with my children is the fine line between vanity and feeling good about yourself," Barratt told ATTN:. "I'm not saying that makeup, pretty clothes and a bit of perfume is bad. No way. But it's how far we take that feeling good of oneself when it becomes a problem of insecurity."

 

De-sexualizing the naked body.

Barratt told ATTN: that she wants her daughter to know that people of various body types and genders experience body shaming. Like many other photographers, Barratt said that it's crucial to see the body in its natural state so we don't spend so much time sexualizing it.

"The more humans can see the body in its natural un-Photoshopped state is when I think we can become desensitized to breasts and bums and vulvas being used for sexual pleasure," Barratt continued. "Because society has chosen to extort and sexualize our bodies to sell their products, it is drilled in our head [that] THAT is what is normal because THAT is the face of Hollister. Or a certain perfume. Or whatever the product may be."

Barratt told ATTN: that she was inspired to start the Humans Uncensored Project after creating a viral meme calling out the sexist response to Kim Kardashian's nude selife.

"I'm not sure if Kim really did post her nudie to 'empower women' and frankly, I could care less why she did it," Barratt told ATTN:. "The point is that women shaming women is the issue. I found the image being shared in many groups I was in, saying they were angry Kim could post a nudie and break the internet but their birth images are continually being banned, and how disgusting it was to do that. I couldn't help but think, why in the world is it OK for you to post a baby coming out of a vagina, but it is not on for Kim to post a censored selfie of her breasts and vagina 'censored' but obviously very naked? Is it not the same vagina we are fighting normalize, regardless if a baby is emerging from a womb or not? Double standard."

Talking to young people about body image issues.

Barratt's dialogue about personal body shaming is significant because parents can have a strong influence on how children view themselves and their own self worth, according to Dr. Carla Stokes, a professional speaker who works specifically with teenage girls and women through life pressures and transitions. Speaking to ATTN:, Dr. Stokes said it's important to approach body image in a careful manner with young girls to prevent them from developing self-esteem issues.

"Girls with low self-esteem are more likely to have parents who are critical or judgmental," Dr. Stokes said. "Thus, your words and actions affect your daughter’s developing body image, confidence, and self-esteem for better or worse."

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