Body image controlling too many teens


Paleo, South Beach, liquid diet, detox diet, no carb, military diet, and so on. In modern times, media has projected an image of the perfect body so much that many young girls and teenagers try their best to achieve it. From the Victoria’s Secret Fashion show, to women on the covers of magazines, to models on Pinterest, there’s always an opportunity for teenage girls to feel badly about their bodies.

As teenage girls get older and further into their high school years, they tend to become more obsessed with making their bodies perfect. They don’t understand that the models they see in Victoria’s Secret magazines and on social media are not accurate representations of a beautiful woman. Beautiful women have confidence and are proud of themselves and their bodies. Go into any gym and you will see teenage girls on the elliptical, treadmill, or in the corner doing countless ab exercises. Go on any teenage girl’s Pinterest and you will see boards about healthy eating, extreme dieting, and exercises to do in order to get an ideal body.

Many teenage girls who diet in high school do not diet to be healthy and happy, they diet to obtain a stature that they think will make everyone else happy. Peer pressure to be skinny in high school and amongst friend groups is real, indeed.

Think about it; if you have a skinny and fit friend who you think has the perfect body and they’re talking about going on an extreme diet and working out every day, how self-conscious would you feel about your own body?

This would pressure you into going on an extreme and possibly unhealthy diet and doing countless hours of cardio just to try your best to match up to your “perfect” skinny friend.

Body image in high school is hard for girls of any body type. Just because you think a girl might be perfectly skinny and not have anything to worry about, deep down they still might be watching everything they eat and working out hours each day to be society’s idea of “beautiful.”

How do we fix this terrible idea of body image you might ask? Promote healthy, clean eating, not extreme fad diets. Promote working out during the week to help your body stay healthy, not to get a supermodel body. Let teenage girls know that it’s okay to splurge from time to time, and eat that pizza or eat that whole pan of brownies.

Teenagers who are intense about their weight loss take more extremes other than diet and exercise.  Over one-half of teenage girls and nearly one-third of teenage boys use unhealthy weight control behaviors such as skipping meals, fasting, smoking cigarettes, vomiting, and taking laxatives

Extreme dieting and exercising is even more prevalent in teenage elite athletes.Teenage athletes feel the pressure to reach a certain weight or look a certain way to be successful in their sport. There are significantly higher rates of eating disorders found in elite athletes (20%), than in a female control group (9%).

Teenage girls are still kids and are still so young. They deserve to have a little fun from time to time. Once girls start talking badly about their bodies to each other, they will stop thinking so badly about their bodies to themselves. Teenage girls need to focus on working hard in everything they do, being happy, spending time with good, positive minded friends, and not being so stressed about what they look like.

 It’s okay to want to lead a healthy eating and working out lifestyle, but never think that you’re not good enough and have to be deprived in order to make yourself feel good.