Negative Body and Self-Images Are Not Helping Anyone


Teenagers are constantly struggling with trying to look perfect. This causes negative self and body-image which honestly isn’t helping their struggle.

Kana Mullee, Staff Writer

Imagine yourself looking in the mirror to see your reflection and not being happy with it. Unfortunately, this is the reality for many teens everywhere.

Body image is how and what a person thinks and feels about their body. This image includes how a person wished their body looked, which may or maynot match the person’s  actual body shape and size.

Not all body images are bad though. People can have a positive body image, meaning that they  feel comfortable and satisfied with how their body looks. Despite that, many teens see their bodies in a negative way. . This means they are dissatisfied with how they look and constantly want to change their body.

Throughout a person’s lifetime, their body image can change because of how strongly it is connected to self-esteem and healthy lifestyle choices. When a person feels good about their body, they are much more likely to have good self-esteem and mental health. They are also more likely to have a balanced attitude toward eating and physical activity.

Having a healthy body image in childhood can lay the foundations for brilliant physical and mental health later in life. On the other hand, if a person has an unhealthy body image during their  childhood, it can have long-lasting consequences.

Social media platforms allow teens to post photos to earn the approval of peers for their own appearances, and it allows them to compare themselves to others. It also introduces many challenges for those who have low self-esteem and a negative body image. While some interactions on social media can be positive and help teens gain a sense of belonging, there are many unknown negative impacts of social media on body image. Social media has the ability to cause people to second-guess their appearance and underestimate their self confidence. Teens are especially at risk because of the amount of change (social, physical and psychological) that they are going through growing up. Because of puberty, teenagers’ bodies are changing in many different ways, which makes them focus more on the opinions of others than before. All of these changes place teens at a high risk for developing a negative body image, and subsequently, in the worst case scenarios, eating disorders. Some teens may be more at risk than others for certain negative effects of social media, specifically those teens who are focused on others’ approval and those who are already facing the pressure society has put on teens to have an “ideal body.”

Another thing that may cause teens to have a negative body image is their family and school environments. When parents have problems with their body image, it can affect their kids without meaning to. Family can also be more direct with asking invasive and negative questions. Coaches at school can also be overly critical and put pressure on the appearance of athletes who do a sport in which a weigh-in is required. Teens can also encounter negative comments from classmates. Even if the comments are not meant to harm the recipient, they can damage a teen’s body image when they are having a hard time.

There are many ways to tell if you or someone you know is struggling with their image. Some signs that a teenager may have a negative body image are obsessive use of a mirror, over-amplifying blemishes and imperfections, frequently thinking negatively about their body, comparing their body shape and size to others or expressing envy toward the body of a peer or celebrity.

Despite the popular belief of teenagers, they do not need to change the way they look in order to feel good about themselves. There are positive ways that a teen can change their self-esteem and body image without drastically changing their body. One thing that teens can do is to change their focus to what they like about their body and not what they don’t like. They can also create realistic goals about things they can change about their body without hurting themselves. Another thing teens can do is to control their negative thoughts about their body and self-image.

For 5 more ways to improve your body image, check out this website!