Some years ago I revisited a childhood home in Texas where I lived for a couple of years as a toddler. Getting off the bus in Clear Lake City, Huston I found myself standing in front of my old home. What struck me at that instant was just how small it was compared to my grandiose memories of it. The major road on which it sat was actually a tiny street and the vast playground further down the block a mere patch of green.
The discussion was with single mums on limited incomes. The topic was providing their kids’ with opportunities to participate in extra-curricular activities. The consensus was just how difficult it can be to make it happen. The lack of participation by children from lower socio-economics was profound according to a study recently released by the University of South Australia’s Health and Use of Time Group.
Sitting in a room with kids, eight and nine year olds, and our conversation turns to body image. These are perfectly “normal” children, with different bodies, hair colour and builds. Yet regardless of what they look like they are very aware of their perceived imperfections. “My thighs are too big,” says one girl typifying the comments. Read the rest of this entry »