Teens and Body Image

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Teens and Body Image
Kendra Stevenson
Unit 6 Draft
Kaplan University
December 28, 2010

Am I too fat? Would I look better skinny? Am I pretty enough to be a super star? These are questions of an average teenage girl, that I am asked daily and not just because she is my child that I tell her everyday you are beautiful in every way. You can be whatever you choose to be in life. Do not go by what others think or say, the point is what matters to you. Body Image is how one see them self and how they think others see them. It is not based in the truth, but in what is seen as the truth. It is important to reassure teen girls, especially during those formative years, of their inner and outer beauty. Parents should focus not only on the teen’s physical appearance, but on their other endearing traits as well (Cash, T.F. & Pruzinsky, T. 1990). Although many parents of teens struggling with body image may blame television models and other such stars, these body issues and their disorders is key to mental and physical well being and it is defined by self-esteem, past experiences, messages from society, cultural pressures, relationships and mood stemming back to their daughters days of pigtails and Barbie.

For most girls, body image has more to do with being accepted by their peers than actually eating healthy and exercising. Sixty percent of girls are dissatisfied with their bodies, and sixty-six expressed the desire to lose weight (Stevenson, K.L. 2010). This is not surprising when realizing that society is bombarded with images of excessively thin women. The popular media have increasingly held up a thinner and prettier body image as the ideal woman (National Institute on Media and Family). Having a healthy body image means that most teenagers’ feelings, ideas, and opinions about their body appearance are positive. It means accepting and appreciating their body and feeling mostly satisfied with their appearance (Engberg, Gillian,...
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