Beliefnet
Doing Life Together

When I heard Beyonce was part of a campaign to ban the word “bossy” for female empowerment, I was confused.  She is worried about “bossy” when her husband Jay-Z spews filthy and degrading lyrics on most of his songs?

If you have the stomach for it, look up the lyrics to several of Jay-Z’s songs. “Bossy” should be the least of her concerns. How about talking to your man and his hop hop buddies and ask them to ban filth from their lyrics? Call me “bossy” over any of those names!

The exposure so many kids have to these lyrics is frightening. Over and over on radio, in movies and on television, expletives fly freely. Don’t tell me it doesn’t matter. We are seeing a serious decline in civility and media play a part.

1) The co-founder, P.M. Forni, of the civility project at Johns Hopkins Unversity says that cursing is “still the language of aggression…the precursor to violence.” He sees rudeness and cursing as part of an escalation to violence. He goes on to say that words are like our hands. They can be used to stroke and hurt.

2) A study is Pediatrics revealed that children exposed to profanity in media are more accepting of profanity and its use. And being more accepting of its use also leads indirectly to physical and relational aggression.

So if hearing, accepting and using profanity can lead to more aggression and violence, why are we not curbing profanity versus letting it fly? Maybe less profanity would bring more respect to the treatment of others. What is the end goal of calling people names and degrading them with words? Why do we want to support anything that potentially leads to aggression?

If you are offended and fed up with profanity in the media, speak out. Write a letter to your local general manager of the TV or radio station. They deal with local complaints and want to keep their consumers happy. Talk about how profanity objectifies and degrades women. Ask, why this is necessary and what is the end goal of exposing our kids to cursing.

Frankly, I’d take being called “bossy” any day over being assaulted by profanity!

 

 

ID-100157134The federal government has a website called Stop Bullying Now.  On that website are these signs that may indicate your child is being bullied.

As you look at the list, keep in mind that it is important to intervene early when bullying happens in order to prevent anxiety, depression and low self-worth. The effects of bullying often persist even after the bullying ends.

•Unexplained injuries

•Lost or destroyed clothing, books, electronics or jewelry

•Frequent headaches or stomachaches, feeling sick or faking illness

•Changes in eating habits, such as suddenly skipping meals or binge eating.

•Difficulty sleeping or frequent nightmares.

•Declining grades, loss of interest in schoolwork, not wanting to go to school.

•Sudden loss of friends or avoidance of social situations.

•Feelings of helplessness or decreased self-esteem.

•Self-destructive behaviors such as running away from home or talking about suicide.

If you suspect your child is being bullied, intervene now to protect from further health consequences.

 

girl in mirror

When Kelly looks in the mirror, she is usually self-critical. Not much changes when she checks her Facebook every day. She clicks through the posts mostly looking at photos. When she encounters one with her picture in it, she is easily discouraged. Most times, she doesn’t like what she sees.

Our cultural obsession with thinness, body perfection, and youth, coupled with myriad products aimed at improving one’s appearance, all contribute to the rising number of people who struggle with weight, eating and body image. One of the hallmarks of someone with an eating disorder is giving other people the power to define who you are. This usually results in being hypersensitive to criticism, wanting to please others and trying to be perfect.

Now think about what happens when you log in to Facebook. People FRIEND or LIKE you. People post pictures-some flattering and others not so flattering. If you struggle to define who you are, Facebook gives that power to others. In that regard, Facebook is not your friend.

A new study found this to be true. In the study, 960 female college students were asked about their use of Facebook and the importance of LIKES and untagged photos. There were also given the Eating Attitudes Test, a self-report survey. The more time the women spent on Facebook looking at images, the more at risk they were for eating disorders. Those at risk spent more time untagging unflattering pictures and comparing themselves to others. For those at risk, LIKES take on too much significance.

The use of Facebook can reinforce both obsession with appearance and anxiety over insecurity. Facebook is a place where we can easily distort reality and think way too much about presenting our best side.

So if you are going to use Facebook, how much power will you give it to control how you think of yourself? If you use it, you may lose it—that is your confidence and sense of self.

Like any social media tool, Facebook has its positive sides, but for those who struggle with body acceptance and liking themselves, it may have too much of a downside. If you find yourself obsessing and engaging in eating disorder behavior, stop looking! And get professional help.

 

BFS_SelfImage_LGFor more help: Breaking Free from Negative Self-Image by Dr. Linda Mintle

And listen to the Dr.Linda Mintle radio show on Breaking Free from Negative Self -Image

popcornAs I was finishing off a bag of pre-popped popcorn, I decided to read the label. To my surprise, the half bag I had already consumed was considered 3 servings. Oops, that was a total of 480 calories for that little snack. I would have done much better grabbing a piece of fruit! When I originally bought the bag of popcorn, I saw the calorie count as 160 calories per serving and figured that would be a low calorie snack. But looking more carefully at the label, the portion size and amount of sugar in the popcorn were more than I bargained for in terms of low cal! Most people would consume more than a half of a cup of popcorn for a serving.

Don’t despair, the theme of the government helping the people continues.  Michelle Obama takes her Let’s Move campaign to food labels. Actually,  I like her idea. She wants calorie counts to be bolder and bigger, grams of sugar to be added (how about teaspoons instead of grams. Who understands grams?), total, saturated and trans fat listed, vitamin D and potassium added.

Probably the most important change will be what tripped me up. The total calories of a serving size people typical eat will be added. For example, no more half a cup of ice cream size, but rather a cup. And who drinks part of a soda?

So basically, I like the changes. What I don’t like is the added cost. Again, who pays for this? Ultimately, the cost will get passed along to the consumer.

The hope is this change will inform the consumer, but the consumer still has to read labels and take personal responsibility for what he or she is eating and buying. And no regulation can fix that problem.

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