Body Image

Mary Norton, Journalist

I was told to gather thoughts and ideas on a subject that I’m passionate about and one of the things that came to mind was body image. It’s one of the biggest mental health destroyers. Teenage girls often struggle with the perception of body image and it usually lowers their self esteem. An example of this is self-scrutiny in mirrors. Nothing can make a girl more insecure than looking in the mirror at all the things they wish they could change about themselves that are out of their control.

Another example of negative body image is frequent comparison of your own size to other people. I often find myself doing this as well. It is very unhealthy but also very common. Living in a world where society expects you to be almost flawless to be beautiful in the eyes of other people is exhausting. I was once told by a coworker that I was “pretty in an unconventional way”. She followed this statement by defining it as, “You’re pretty but not what society would consider pretty.” This made me wonder, “what’s so wrong with me? Is it my body? My hair? Am I not beautiful because I don’t wear a size 00?” It made me feel even worse about myself but I wanted to share this because it’s not true. You do not have to live up to society’s standards to be pretty and you do not have to have the “perfect body” to be accepted by others.

The final, very common body image issue is thinking disparaging comments about your body. One thing every teen girl needs to know if they don’t already know is, YOU ARE YOUR OWN WORST ENEMY! These thoughts are a leading cause of body dysmorphia. It is a flaw that appears minor or can’t be seen by others. These habits eat at you and make you feel so down on yourself and in the long run could destroy you mentally. If you struggle with these things, you are not alone.