Mom Breaks Down During An Emotional Conversation With 11-Year-Old Son After He Admits That He Doesn't Like The Way He Looks

She was heartbroken to hear that her son struggles with body image issues at such a young age.

Samantha, Nathan @raisingself / TikTok

A mom shared a candid moment between her and her son after he opened up about an insecurity he is facing.

In a TikTok video, Samantha, a mother of three who makes content about various topics including intentional parenting and socio-emotional health, found herself having a rather difficult and emotional conversation with her 11-year-old son about how he views his own body.

She broke down after her son admitted that he didn't like the way he looked.

Samantha had set up her camera to record when her 11-year-old, Nathan, walked into the room. The two of them engaged in normal small talk, with each of them asking how the other was doing and how they had slept the night before.


At one point in their conversation, Samantha asks her son how his fitness journey has been going. "You've been on a serious fitness kick with your friends. Y'all have been like ... I don't understand why ... 11 and 12 [year-olds]. Why are you guys doing it? What inspired this?"

Nathan explained to his mom that one of his friends had expressed feeling unhappy and insecure in his body, so to help him out, they all started working out with him. Samantha's face quickly changes as she hears her son talk about his pre-teen friends struggling with their body images.

"I don't like that he doesn't like the way he looks," Samantha replied after her son asked why her face changed. When she asked if Nathan liked the way that he looked, he answered honestly, telling his mother that he didn't.




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Upon hearing that her 11-year-old son was also struggling with the way he viewed his body, she began to cry.

"You guys are perfect. You're still growing and changing, you're only going to look like this for a small window and then you're gonna look so different." As Samantha continues to cry, her son immediately embraces her as she reassures him that there is nothing about his body that he needs to change. "Who gets to decide what you're supposed to look like at 11?"

"You look great," she informed her son. "And different people look different, and all of y’all existence are valid and important. I don't want you to spend any time comparing yourself to anyone because that is their life and their situation, and this is your life. This is your body, you only get one body, no matter what that body looks like."


Samantha even offered some advice for her son, especially with being on social media. She explained that she would only follow other creators who look like her and make content that she is proud to watch and consume on a daily basis. 

"No matter what that body is like, you better love it," she stressed to Nathan. "Nobody else is gonna love your body like you."

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Just like women, men and little boys also struggle with body image insecurities and the pressure to look a certain way.

Just like women and young girls, boys and men are exposed to idealized and unrealistic body standards perpetuated by the patriarchy through media, advertisements, and social media platforms. The representation of an "ideal" male body with a lean, muscular physique can create feelings of inadequacy or pressure to conform to these standards.


A study of boys ages 11 to 18 by the Californian Journal of Health Promotion found that 24.1 percent of the boys who were in the “healthy BMI” category of the study said they were dissatisfied with their body shape. Men and boys also suffer from eating disorders brought on by some of these insecurities.

According to the Child Mind Institute, "as many as a third of people with eating disorders are men or boys. But boys are often missed because people think of eating disorders as something that only affects girls. Eating disorders tend to look different in boys."

The pressure to attain a certain body shape, especially in activities like bodybuilding and competitive sports, may contribute to disordered eating habits. The National Eating Disorders Association, per the Center for Discovery, cites that 20 million women and 10 million men will have an eating disorder during their lifetime.

Men make up 25% of people with anorexia, and because they are often diagnosed later than women, they are at higher risk of dying.


Parents need to be aware that boys and men can also struggle with body image and to create a safe space for them to express their feelings and concerns. By discussing body image openly, parents can challenge societal norms and stereotypes related to masculinity and appearance, and help their children develop a more positive and realistic view of themselves.

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Nia Tipton is a Chicago-based entertainment, news, and lifestyle writer whose work delves into modern-day issues and experiences.