7 clues to a New Year’s riddle for the 7th year of 2000

nyriddle.jpgThis landed in my e-mail from some pals of mine, and it seems worthy to toss out there to get kids thinking along these lines and open up some dialogue.

Yes, I’m being ambiguous on purpose so I won’t spoil the fun.

To challenge yourself, write down your guess after reading each clue; then, after reading all the clues, see which (if any) of your guesses is correct.

No cheating and no giving up allowed! Here goes, Clue #1

(1) It has been around you since before you were born.

(2) It is both very fragile and very strong.

(3) It makes the act of creation possible.

(4) It is the source of both exquisite pleasure and excruciating pain.

(5) Sometimes you love it; other times you hate it.

(6) Its beauty has been a source of inspiration to artists and poets for millenia.

(7) Its power has been a source of misunderstanding, mistrust and fear for millenia, particularly in the case of fanatics and fundamentalists…

The answer is . . . your BODY.

Special thanks to the team at BeingYoga.net for sending this along.

Youth particularly need to reinforce positive body image as they’re being hammered by some pretty toxic expectations and media messages.

We promise we’ll post our podcasts on body image and our tween review of Audrey Brashich’s All Made Up, A Girl’s Guide to Seeing Through Celebrity Hype and Celebrating Real Beauty we’re just blog-backlogged big time.

Meanwhile, as Audrey’s blog states, “Don’t believe the Hype”…

Body image links a child’s emotional and physical health. And consumer-oriented media has grown into a virtual 24/7 presence with ‘always on’ behavioral messaging that accentuates fears and nurtures obsessions…

We’ll be covering this topic more in 2007 on the counter-marketing front and in our ongoing work with our film project, Body Blitz: Media, Shaping Youth.

Here are a few stats from our own Shaping Youth work with preteens showing mental and physical health are increasingly at risk:

  • In 2002-‘03 alone, breast implants nearly tripled for girls 18 and younger, & over 220,000 teens under 18 had a cosmetic procedure of some kind. (including 19,000 nose jobs & 22,000 ear protrusion fixes) –American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery.

  • Boys are exposed to a steady stream of steroid abusing sports heroes & buffed muscled videogame icons, and already 26% of male adolescents don’t like their bodies or have dysmorphia issues. (American Journal of Drug & Alcohol Abuse)

  • More than 80% of 10 year olds fret over their weight, & almost half of 10/11 year olds try dieting. — National Eating Disorders

Needless to say, we’re hoping kids learn to be gentle on themselves and dial down the damaging media messaging on body image.

Cheers to a brighter, healthier worldview for youth, and for us all…

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