Mental health, Teen Space

Body Image

Teenagers pay a lot of attention to what they look like. It is normal for them to want to look their best and be healthy. However, media representation of the “ideal” body is not realistic and since the media is where we draw most of our inspiration from, teens are fed with the same idea of the ideal body.  They begin comparing themselves to this kind of body and to others and often, real bodies don’t comply with the unrealistic standards set by the Photoshopped pictures in the media. It is also possible that they get teased by their peers or receive negative comments regarding their body from parents and other family members. Sometimes, an individual’s perfectionist personality traits also play a role in motivating their pursuit of changing their bodies.  Teenagers adversely affected by this have an unhealthy body image – they tend to look negatively t their own bodies and find faults in them. .  A healthy body image is necessary to establish the foundations for good physical and mental health later on in life.  A negative body image causes serious issues. For example, if a person thinks he or she is too fat, they will probably eat lesser and lesser everyday and obsessively work out and lose weight to the point of being unhealthy rather than making balanced changes in their everyday habits, food habits and workouts. In the long run, these kinds of practices are detrimental to the bodySome effects of unhealthy body image during teenage include:
– low self esteem contributing to mood swings and negative moods
– indulgence in risky weight loss practices
– feeling unworthy
– bouts of depression and/ or anxiety
– eating disorders

Fortunately, faulty body image and related issues can be corrected. It all begins with learning to love your body and nurturing it. Loving your body starts with accepting it for however fat or thin or short or tall it is. Nurturing your body starts with the basic understanding that it is more important to be healthy than skinny. A nutrient-rich diet and eating well is important for your body. Working out for a few hours a week is also very good to both build strength and maintain health. A healthy body is bound to house a healthy mind. As you begin to focus on health, the inadequacies that you associate with your body are bound to lessen. Eventually, you will begin to love your body and treasure it.

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