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"Body Image" is the way that someone perceives their body and assumes that others may perceive them. This image can also be affected by family, friends, social pressure, and the media. People who are unhappy with their bodies are often unhappy because they don't seek healthy nutrition information, and may, therefore, develop lots of different eating disorders. "Eating disorders" are unhealthy relationships with food that may include fasting, constant dieting, or binging and purging.
Body image is closely linked to self-esteem; meaning low self-esteem in adolescents can lead to eating disorders, early sexual activity, substance abuse and suicidal thoughts. One small thing you can do to combat susceptibility to low self-esteem at this young age is to post encouraging notes in your school bathrooms to brighten your classmate's day.
Approximately 91% of women are unhappy with their bodies and resort to dieting to achieve their ideal body shape. However, unfortunately, only 5% of women naturally possess the body type often portrayed as "ideal" in the media.
58% of college-aged girls feel that they are being pressured to be a certain weight; this is because of the other girls that they see in magazines, idols and other girls in their year pressuring them to be that weight or thinking that they should be that weight also being confused about who they are and their true identity based on conflicting feelings about their body. Studies show that the more reality television young girls watch, the more likely they are to find appearance important to them.
However, about 1/3 of people admit that they have "normal dieting" that merges into pathological dieting over time. You will find 1/4 of those people will suffer from a partial or full on eating disorder at some point in time. A survey had shown that 40% of women agreed that they would consider cosmetic surgery in the future; statistics have shown that this number is relatively consistent across the gender, age, martial status, and race.
Students, especially girls who consume more mainstream media, place greater importance on their overall appearance than those who do not consume as much.
The fact is that 95% of people with eating disorders are between the ages of 12 and 25, of which only 10% will seek professional help.
In other research that I have read and from what has been brought to my attention, out of the 90% of teens unhappy with body shape seem to have first seen this unhappiness in their mothers, who seem to pass on their own insecurities.
Out of the 2,000 girls who were questioned for a poll, only 8% said that they were "happy" with their appearance. Meanwhile, 87% say that they were "unhappy" about their appearance. According to the teen magazine survey for Bliss, many of those who had said that were unhappy about their appearance had been influenced by a mother who was "insecure about their own body image." This can be because they could overhear their mothers talking to their female friends or partners and absorbed the idea that certain body types were less desirable than others.
The research that I did disclosed that there are some worrying facts and that there are great lengths that young girls would go to on their quest for a beautiful body. They can’t seek help or have the confidence to ask for help or talk about it until it is too late. A quarter of 14-year-olds (26%) have said to the researchers during polls that they have actually considered having plastic surgery or even taking diet pills. Among teens, almost fifth (19%) told the researchers that they were already suffering from eating disorder such as anorexia or bulimia.
I am currently in my late 20s now; just slowly coming out of depression and anxiety once again, I would be insecure about my body, the way I look, etc. Throughout my teens, I would put on a show that I didn't care but actually, I really did care about what I looked like, how I would dress and what not. I would compare myself to other people; I wished I was pretty, I wished I didn't put so much weight on and etc. When I was in my mental state of mind I would just binge eat; whatever money I had I would go and get family packs of crisps, chocolate, and fizzy drinks or even just sleep my days away. Part of my mental health problems came about because I didn't like myself or who I was.
I do have lots of positive thoughts about myself when I make the effort to make myself look really nice. I take pictures when I do to post them on Instagram. I either caption them or just leave them as is because I have no words to describe them, but I know that I have caught a really good and positive photo of myself.
I am slowly getting the chance to get to know myself; feeling the confidence that I need to know that it’s okay to have a bit of weight on me. I know when I do my make up and look nice that it's the real me. Even when I don't feel like it and feel bad about myself, I try my hardest to be able to look presentable as much as I can, even if I'm not going anywhere special.