Mom got emotional knowing about his son's mindset regarding his body and decided to teach him a valuable lesson.
Body Image issues has been significantly on the rise especially after the advent of social media, as per Psych Central. Individuals are bombarded with body standards that are not at all feasible or healthy to attain. The mainstream conversation regarding these issues has been heavily focused on women, but it has also been impacting men. Child Mind Institute published data that showed how a third of people suffering from eating disorders were men and boys. In order to create more awareness about how body image issues are impacting men, Samantha, a mother to three, recorded a candid conversation with her pre-teen boy and uploaded it on TikTok. The video shows how even an 11-year-old boy is dealing with the unjust pressure to look better by society, and implied how this issue should no longer be ignored. It has amassed more than 265k views.
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In the caption of the video, Samatha wrote, "I am sharing this as a reminder that body image concerns also affect boys. I read recently that disordered eating was on the rise among boys. And while my household eats mostly organic and almost no fast food, we are on the heavier side." She continued that she definitely wants her children to be physically active, but only if they like it or want to participate in a particular sport. She does not want her children to sweat themselves out for the sake of getting a body that they have seen on television.
The video began with the mother and son engaging in a casual conversation asking how they were doing. The woman then issues a trigger warning regarding the things she would discuss in the content. Things take an intense turn when she inquires her son about his recent activities, "You've been on a serious fitness kick with your friends. Y'all have been like ... I don't understand why ... 11 and 12 [year-olds]. Why are you guys doing it? What inspired this?"
Nathan, her son, replied that his journey started with the intent of helping his friend. His friend was not feeling happy with his body and therefore wanted to go on a transformative journey, and all his mates joined him. Samantha's expression showcased her shock that a pre-teen boy was thinking negatively about his body. When Nathan asked about her expression she told him, "I don't like that he doesn't like the way he looks". Not wanting to waste this moment, the mother decided to utilize it in order to find out more about Nathan's feelings something which she might never be able to do in normal chats. She asked Nathan whether he liked his body, and he, unfortunately, replied that he didn't.
Samantha began to cry thinking about the pressure Nathan has been feeling and tells him, "You guys are perfect. You're still growing and changing, you're only going to look like this for a small window and then you're gonna look so different." Nathan was also moved by the exchange as he began hugging her mother. She added, "And different people look different, and all of y’all existence are valid and important. I don't want you to spend any time comparing yourself to anyone because that is their life and their situation, and this is your life. This is your body, you only get one body, no matter what that body looks like." The mother continued to emphasize that as 11-year-olds, they should not have negative and dismissive thoughts about their body.
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Thereafter, Samantha suggested her son surround himself with affirmative and positive voices, especially on social media. She gave her own example and explained how she only follows creators that make her feel comfortable in her own skin. She gave him a strong message, "No matter what that body is like, you better love it. Nobody else is gonna love your body like you."
The comment section was appreciative of the honest conversation between the mother and son duo. @llynnhl shared her own personal experience, "My tears started with yours because my younger self needed my mom to cry for me when I hated myself. She agreed with me. He is so lucky to have you." @beemck2 loved everything about the video, "Can we focus on how he supported his friend, though?! What a great kid! Such a beautiful family!".