The peaks and pits of body image and pregnancy

Pregnancy is an experience that changes women’s lives, and their bodies. What is often the happiest time of one’s life also entails body image struggles. While also dealing with new hormonal changes throughout their nine month term, pregnancy can be overwhelming. Research shows that women’s insecurities increase not only throughout pregnancy, but up to nine months postpartum. This caused women to gain more weight, have worsened mental health and lack in their relationships with friends and family.

Evolving classrooms: How children’s books combat gender norms

Cheryl Greene is the Deputy Director for Welcoming Schools, a program that assists elementary educators with professional developmental resources for their classroom. The mission of Welcoming Schools is to provide a safe environment for all types of families and children. One of the best ways to educate children on gender norms in a more subtle way, Greene says, is through books. “Books are one of the most effective ways to educate students,” Greene says, “Books that portray diverse families and characters that don’t fit gender stereotypes are an important tool in creating respectful and welcoming school environments.”

Books like “Made by Raffi” and “Ballerino Nate” may not be household names yet, but they are inspired by real-life stories of children who felt they did not conform to gender norms.

“Made by Raffi” author Craig Pomranz got the idea to write a book after his godson, Raffi, asked him if there was such thing as a ‘tomgirl.’ Raffi did not enjoy rough play and loud noise, and began to question himself for not being interested in ‘boy’ activities. In the book, a boy named Raffi enjoys making scarves, but is teased at school for being different than the other boys.

Breast cancer survivors discuss overcoming body struggles

In 2017 alone, Susan G. Komen projects that there will be 316,120 new cases of breast cancer in women, both invasive and non-invasive. As a cancer that will affect one in eight women during their lifetime, local organizations like Susan G. Komen Michigan provide support and resources to the countless women who are diagnosed with this disease. Erica Bills is the executive director of Susan G. Komen Michigan and advocates for women who battle breast cancer. She has seen how the media, specifically advertisements, have distorted people’s perspective on breast cancer. What should be viewed as an illness has become a marketing technique for some, and can make people less sensitive toward those who are struggling.

Instagram named worst app for mental health: What can be changed?

Instagram has been named the worst social media app in regards to mental health. In a study by the Royal Society for Public Health, called #StatusofMind, Instagram was noted with causing depression, anxiety and even sleeping issues for its users. Ranking out the top five in order were YouTube, the most positive; Twitter, Facebook, Snapchat and finally, Instagram. Matt Keracher, senior policy and communications executive for the Royal Society of Public Health, authored the #StatusofMind report. He discussed how these findings are not only important in the UK, but internationally.