This activity gives you a chance to pay attention to what kind of body talk happens with you and your friends. What kinds of conversations do you and your friends have about your bodies? When I talk with teens, they often tell me about conversations that have to do with:
• Comparing clothing sizes or weight
• Talking about how many calories people have eaten that day
• Talking about body parts in a negative way–“I hate my thighs.”, “I can’t stand my eyes.”
• Counting calories together or going on diets together
In the dark cloud you can download and print here, list, draw or collage the negative body talk that happens with you and your friends.
Being critical of your body with your friends can lead to a lot of bad feelings. The feelings of safety, acceptance, and fun with friends change when there is a cloud of comparison and competition hanging over you. Even if you are not trying to compare yourself, when people start criticizing in groups, feelings of comparison follow. What can you do about it? Click to the next exercise to find out some more ways to make the dark cloud go away.