Building Positive Body Image For Teens

on Thursday, 24 November 2011. Posted in Mental Wellbeing, Mental Health Written By: superadmin

Tips to develop a healthy self esteem and body image.

Building Positive Body Image For Teens

It is common for teenagers to have a poor body image and complain about being fat, or skinny, or not having shapely legs? However, this may have several physical and emotional side-effects on them too and therefore, it is necessary to help them develop a healthy self esteem and body image.

It is common for teenagers to have a poor body image and complain about being fat, or skinny, or not having shapely legs? However, this may have several physical and emotional side-effects on them too and therefore, it is necessary to help them develop a healthy self esteem and body image

Body Image and self esteem

Body Image refers to a person's perception of the aesthetics and sexual attractiveness of their own body. When you dislike your body or specific parts of it; it is referred to as having a negative body image. Body image can be closely linked to self esteem. Poor opinion of your body can cause you to have very low self esteem and self confidence.

Factors that influence body image

Various factors can influence a teenager's body image. These are:

Body Image Trivia:

Studies show that women are more worried about their body image than men.

About 54 percent of American girls and women between 12-23 years are unhappy with their bodies.

One-third of high school students think they were overweight when they were not.

Roughly 75 percent of girls as young as 9 years old have dieted from two to five times in a given year.

At any given time, five to ten million women and girls have eating disorders that harm their health, including anorexia and bulimia.

  • Puberty: During puberty the body goes through several changes. Teenagers may fail to understand the changes that take place in the physical appearance and be embarrassed or frightened about them. While girls may fret becoming heavy, boys may feel they are not turning muscular enough.
  • Parents: How the parents feel about their body, largely influences a child to think in a similar manner. A young girl may be influenced by her own mother or father's persistent anxiousness about weight and body image.
  • Media: Watching slim and beautiful women and muscular men in movies, on TV and in magazines, may lead a teenager to think that, that is exactly how one must appear to attract attention.

Risks of a negative body image

  • Eating Disorders: Two of the most common eating disorders are anorexia and bulimia. Anorexia is purposeful starvation or a refusal to maintain a healthy body weight. Bulimia is characterized by binging and purging. Individuals with bulimia often significantly overeat and then cause self-induced vomiting (or use laxatives) in order to rid their bodies of the food they have consumed.
  • Suicide and self-harm: Disturbed teens may develop suicidal tendencies or resort to self harm.
  • Cosmetic Surgery and Body Art: Teens may try and find out alternative means of getting the body they want through cosmetic surgery. Some also resort to tattoos and piercings as means of decorating their body, in order to enhance its appearance.

Tips for improving body image and self esteem

There are several things which may help a teenager build a healthy body image. Some of these are:

  • Parents play an important role in instilling a good body image in their children. They themselves need to be appreciative of their bodies, by being comfortable about them anyway; avoiding topics of weight loss, dieting, imperfections or body correction.
  • Teens need to be explained that the perfect images they see on TV or in magazines are greatly enhanced to remove imperfections and one can be liked and admired even with their imperfections.
  • Changing their focus from imperfect body parts to one's they like and are confident about also helps.
  • Parents need to learn not to compare their kids with others.
  • A healthy diet, avoiding alcohol and smoking, and regular exercising too help breed positivity.

Everyone wants to look their best, but one must remember that a healthy body is not always linked to appearance. Adopting a healthy lifestyle on the other hand will always help in improving your body image and keeping a high self esteem.

 

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