Body Image and our Teens

Chloe McGill

What is body image?

    Body image is the preception someone has about their physical self, which then leads to thoughts and feelings about themselves whether it be positive or negative but usually the latter. They can be influenced by the environment around them as well as people in their lives.

Teenage Girls

80% of women say that images and advertisements with celebrities on television and in the media make them feel inferior and insecure in themselves. 42% of girls in the grades first to third think they need to be thinner. Four out of five young girls are afraid of becoming fat. The third most common illness in Australia's female youth is anorexia.
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Teenage Boys

53% of males feel uncertain about the way they look at least once a week. 41% of males worry about the way people see them. Those boys who are concerned with their weight usually want to gain muscle, spedning excess amounts of time in the gym. In the years 7-12 25% of boys reported to staff that they were being teased about their weight.

What are the health concerns involving body image?

Distorted body image is the negative way people may perceive themselves. It usually begins in childhood and continues to twist the persons mind as they get older and move further into their adolescences. An example of an illness related to distoreted body image is anorexia, wich causes malnutrition and then as that sets in the brain and the persons metabolism begins to suffer. This is one of the most well known body image related illnesses. Anorexia can cause a multitude of illnesses but to name a few as an example are osteoporosis and an irregular heartbeat, but the body is not just physically damaged but also the mind as depression can also set in, all caused by anorexia.
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Strategies to promote healthy body image

Things to help promote a healthy body image is to have good role models in the lives of our teens, that includes educating teachers and parents or gaurdians about what a good role model could be and help put it forth onto our youth. A good role model could be someone that teaches healthy eating habits and exercise. Another example could be parents showing their children how to be accepting of their bodies and helping them understand what the media does through photoshop and also talking about what makes up a person in not just their physical apperance but things such as personality as well. Another thing to help promote a healthy body image is establishing a healthy relationship with food and the proper intake that is required for a healthy body, not to much and not to little.