Body Image | Self Love
I Don’t Like Myself
The episode, “I don’t like myself,” features Jake, the Koala, who is struggling with loving and accepting himself as he is—a common issue among not just children, but among adults as well. Problems with self-love can manifest themselves in a number of different ways including disliking one’s physical attributes or lacking belief in one’s ability to succeed. Multiple mental health conditions can also manifest as a cause of these feelings—such as depression, anxiety, or bulimia. If a parent’s child is dealing with any of these issues, they should seek professional help in order to accurately identify their struggle and learn how they can help.
To assist children in identifying their struggles, Jake goes through the process himself—expressing his dislike for some of his physical attributes, leading to a state of sadness. A parent or trusted adult can help their child by asking them what it is that he is struggling with. From there, the trusted adult can transition questions towards the child, asking them if they experience feelings similar to Jake, and why. Children have multiple facets of media influencing how they perceive their body, creating false perceptions. When a child mentions something that they don’t like about themselves, whether or not it is physical, it is important to help them understand why and then go through the process of correcting their misunderstandings and teaching them about self-love.
In Jake’s activity, he is able to identify his own positive attributes. This practice can be beneficial in creating a healthy mindset within a child. While Jake lists these things on his own, children may need help. This may require parents to sit down with their children and ask them about things they like about themselves, things they think they’re good at, and so on to emphasize the importance of talking positively about oneself. Parents can also do this regarding themselves, to ensure that their child learns body positivity and self-confidence from someone they trust.
At the end of the episode, Jake acknowledges that he needs more help. Additional help should be sought not just from parents and trusted adults, but from therapists and other professionals to ensure that the sources of the child’s struggles with self-love can be more accurately identified and mended.