If you ever sat through any of our CPYU training on the power of media, marketing, and music, you know that we refer to culture as both a “map” and a “mirror.” Another way we say it is that culture is both “directive” and “reflective.” Media tells us how to live in the world. It maps out life for us. This is especially true for impressionable and growing children and teens. As a mirror, it reflects back to us what the prevailing cultural ideals, values, and worldviews currently are. And one of the most powerful ways that these “maps” shape kids (and adults) is in terms of body image.
As parents and youth workers, our role is to serve as “mappers” of a biblical world and life view. Consequently, we should affirm media messages that map life in the right direction, and challenge/correct those that don’t. It’s for this reason that we are passionate about promoting media literacy here at CPYU, and we’ve developed some tools to help with that task.
To help you better understand the role that media plays in mapping out body image standards, give this helpful infographic a look. Then, pass it on. Hopefully it will spark a more concentrated and deliberate effort on your part to process media’s messages with the kids you know and love.