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How a Memphis museum is helping kids spark a positive self-image

This week, the Children’s Museum of Memphis is highlighting the 'real you' with art.

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Are social media filters harmless or harmful? That’s the debate happening on platforms like Instagram and TikTok. 

Many filters online can make you look almost unrecognizable. Experts say filters could affect how you see yourself, especially kids.

RELATED: Social media camera filters can lead to body image issues, doctors say

This week, the Children’s Museum of Memphis is highlighting the 'real you' with art.

“We just love to see both parents and kids leaning into the mirror and talking about the things that make them special and unique," said Dr. Stewart Burgess, developmental psychologist and executive director of the museum.

It was a day of art and learning for the Heath family, who visit the museum frequently.

Credit: WATN

One-year-old Joseph is learning how to color. 5-year-old Michael is going more abstract, and their sister, 3-year-old Madison, is painting what she loves: their family.

This week, kids at the Children's Museum of Memphis are making self-portraits to learn more about self-image. It's a big project for these little hands, with a deeper meaning.

“It's super hard if every image around you is artificially enhanced," said Burgess. 

Credit: WATN

In a world where social media is all around, embracing who you are and what you look like isn't always easy. Online filters can distort how you see yourself.

Burgess said creating self-portraits point out what's real with acceptance, and it's best to start this lesson early.

"High self-esteem is about an accurate perception of your attributes,” said Burgess. “Your strengths and your weaknesses and liking it. It’s the mix of the things that make you, you."

Michael, Madison, and Joseph aren't posting online yet. But if or when they do, maybe they'll look back on their work and what it represents.

The Children’s Museum of Memphis is open Tuesday through Sunday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Central Avenue.

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