Before I ever had children, I promised myself that if I had a girl I would always be very intentional about projecting a positive body image, so she could pick up on my vibe and become the most self-assured woman in history. But instead of birthing the most badass chick of all time, I had two boys. Even though they weren't the gender I imagined I would be empowering, I realized very quickly that boys need the same type of messages. Boys aren't exempt from appearance struggles, and there are body image warning signs to look for in your son that can reveal underlying problems.
Historically, there has been more focus on the issue of body image as being exclusive to girls. But more and more research is bringing to light the degree to which boys are wrestling with their perceptions of male body ideals, and struggling with the feeling that they do not measure up. With a lean muscular physique as the accepted goal, boys may identify as too heavy or too thin from that midpoint. These feelings of inadequacy can lead to behaviors that parents need to treat like bright red flags waving in the sky.
Boys grappling with body image may not be as obvious as you'd expect, but you should trust your intuition if you notice any of these three body image warning signs in your son, and take it as signal that your boy needs your support.