By Mary Treier –
Sometimes it’s easy to like who you are. You feel great when you pass a test, score a winning touchdown or tell a funny joke after which everyone laughs.
But how do you feel about yourself when you just said something stupid or fumbled the football? You sometimes feel dumb or left out of the action. You start wishing you were someone else or that you could change how you look. You think you aren’t good in school, on the team or part of the “cool” crowd.
The obsession with body image and the opinions of others around you is driving teens to diet, use steroids, develop dangerous eating disorders and create a lifelong cycle of low self-esteem.
“When girls color their hair or get new clothes and a haircut, every girl wishes that was something they could do. For a girl I think they like feeling special and prettier than the girls around them sometimes,” senior Jennifer Felegi said.
To say that today’s society is saturated with an outrageous amount of information and visual media would be an understatement.
A negative body image can be made worse by comparing ourselves to models and actors on TV, in the movies and in magazines, even though the body type many of them represent is not realistic or healthy for most people.
Advertising in teen magazines and on television typically glamorizes skinny models that do not resemble the average woman. Teens have a picture in their minds of what the perfect body is and they try to measure up to that image. If they are happy with their body shape they generally have a positive teen self-image. On the other hand, if they don’t measure up, their self-image becomes
more of an issue.
“I think there is a big competition with self-image, especially when it comes to the certain body image that all girls should have,” said Julia Rios, a senior at Penn Manor.
Popular film and television actresses are becoming younger, taller, and thinner. Some have even been known to faint on the set from lack of food.
Until society realizes how dangerous these images can be to young girls, the country will continue to pay for emotional and physical support to counteract these damages.