What message do selfies post?

Top view portrait of two happy smiling kids lying on green grass. Cheerful brother and sister laughing together.
Top view portrait of two happy smiling kids lying on green grass. Cheerful brother and sister laughing together.
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In a new survey a whopping 78 per cent of UK parents have admitted to taking selfies with their children and posting the images on social networks; but our quest to take the ‘perfect selfie’ could be distorting our children’s view of reality.

The poll, which was commissioned by leading parenting resource Families (www.familiesonline.co.uk) in conjunction with its #loveyourselfproject, also reveals that almost two thirds of parents admit to taking more than one selfie with their children before finding their perfect shot, with many taking at least three photos (some as many as 10) before selecting the most flattering image to post online.

A further one in five parents also said they use the special photographic filters to make their image look better. For 73 per cent of parents who actively post selfies with their children on a weekly and monthly basis, this is nothing out of the ordinary, but the worry is that this quest to take the perfect picture may have a deeper long-term effect on what children view as reality.

Faye Mingo, Director of Marketing at Families said: “The way we take photographs and share them online continues to evolve.

“More and more we are seeing a growing trend for image perfection via social media and the worry is that these pictures often involve our children.

“While on the surface, taking these kinds of ‘staged images’ might seem harmless enough, the concern is that they could have a more damaging longer term impact on our children in terms of their future body confidence and self-esteem.”

In contrast to this, the survey also quizzed parents on the importance of building their children’s self-esteem and body confidence and what they believe is the best way to achieve this.

And 76 per cent of parents said children should be encouraged to be confident in their own skin and embrace differences. More than a quarter of parents also said children should be taught to see beauty in everything not just on the surface.

Mingo added: “The question is: are we sending conflicting messages here with our passion for the perfect selfie?

“Our latest campaign #loveyourselfproject, is all about exploring the ways in which we can encourage a positive body image within children.

“We want to wave goodbye to Instagram filters and pouty selfies and educate children on how beautiful they are inside and out.”

Popular ‘selfie mum celebs’ include Britney Spears, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Kim Kardashian, Mariah Carey and Victoria Beckham are just some of the celebrity mums that are well known for their quest for the perfect selfie.

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