The Upsetting Consequence Of Body-Shaming We Don't Talk About Enough

When we talk about Taking Back The Beach, it's easy to forget that young girls, as well as adult women, grapple with self-acceptance. Though we'd like to think of them as blissfully outside the pull of competitive selfies or envy-inducing Instagram feeds (and, for sure, sometimes they are), young girls can also intuit and absorb the damaging rhetoric of body-shaming at an early age. And while many of us struggle every day to navigate the complex ways we relate to wider discussions surrounding self-image, it's still pretty sad to imagine that little kids might feel they need to worry about walking off a burrito.

Body positivity, it turns out, is about a lot more than just loving yourself; it's also an intentional effort to change the way we frame our relationships to food, sex, and self-love, just to mention a few. From yoga guru Jessamyn Stanley to model Tess Holliday, the movement is redrawing the boundaries of what a "beautiful body" is, looks, or feels like (spoiler: it's whatever you want it to be). At its core, body positivity is all about flipping the script on a culture that's kept women ashamed, or distracted, or hungry for a long time now. It's about rejecting "fat" as the worst thing a woman could possibly be.

Of course, for any of this to change, we'd have to be sure that younger generations aren't hearing the disparaging ways we tend to sometimes still talk about our bodies, especially when we're trying on a swimsuit. Self-love, after all, isn't something one just miraculously comes by. Often it's the product of a lot of hard work — the careful labor of choosing not to see ourselves the way the world has taught us to. If you're a woman who grew up on planet Earth, it's pretty likely that you weren't always sure that your value didn't directly correspond to the size of your jeans.

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Above, check out a portrait of what happens when little kids repeat the things we often say about our bodies. We hope it'll inspire you to want to change the conversation that forces women to obsess over everything they eat or wear — the weird, competitive self-shaming that's become all too familiar. Because if another generation of little girls is afraid to eat a slice of pizza or rock their favorite crop tops, our work certainly isn't done — and neither is yours.