Help! My Kid Hates How They Look In Photos

Deidre Belton, like parents everywhere, knows that her child is absolutely adorable. When Alexander was small, he became accustomed to Belton and other doting relatives telling him, “You’re such a handsome little boy.”

His usual response? “Yes, I am.”

Belton has noticed, however, that as he approaches puberty, he is showing signs of taking a more critical eye to images of himself — examining them with the gaze of his peers instead of that of his adoring family.

For a school project, he was tasked with bringing in a baby photo. But when Belton provided him with one, he refused to take it in, saying, “I’m just worried somebody will say I look like an alien.”

Belton, who is from Missouri, United States, remembers thinking, “What is going on?” Realising that her own body-consciousness was impacting her child, Belton has begun to check the comments she makes about her own appearance. This strategy, coupled with keeping Alexander off of social media, has been effective — for now.

But Belton is bracing for the turmoil around self-image that adolescence will bring, particularly in a day and age when everyone’s bodies are so thoroughly documented.

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