Body Image Issues among Teenagers


Between the ages of 12 and 18, a number of traditional, interpersonal, biological, and emotional development that are characteristic of adolescence interact specifically to develop body image. Teenagers are frequently targeted as prospective customers by our appearance-focused culture, which significantly harms their body image.

Our perceptions, attitudes, and behaviours toward our bodies are all part of our body image, which is fundamental to our sense of self. Body image is not made up of absolutes; rather, it is a spectrum ranging from correct and generally positive healthy body perceptions to erroneous and generally negative unhealthy body perceptions. A person’s perception of their body might alter over the course of a lifetime. While body dissatisfaction can happen at any age, adolescence is a time of significant development and is a time when numerous changes to the body take place. Adolescence is at a higher risk of having a poor body image throughout this time of transformation. Take help of online counselling if you are facing issues with your body image.

Influencing Factors

  • Media

Young people’s body image is influenced by powerful social and cultural pressures. Concepts of ideal attractiveness, appearance, form, size, strength, and weight are portrayed on tv, advertisements, cinemas, youtube videos, video games, virtual worlds, toys, the Internet, and periodicals from infancy through maturity.

Teenagers today use social media extensively to get approval from their pals by getting ‘likes’ on their images. An adolescent’s exposure to certain situations might result in the development of a poor body image.

  • Society

Increased bodily unhappiness and body image worries may also be influenced by pressures and concerns from the community. Socialization promotes women to make their bodies more attractive, while males are encouraged to work on being stronger and more developed. As children enter and progress through puberty, parents tend to become less supportive and more judgmental of their kids’ looks, eating, and physical activity. Teenagers are the target of the greatest physical criticism and make the most effort to improve their looks.

Teasing and criticism of their appearance by family members, such as being called “fatso”, “stick” or being taunted in school or in college because of one’s physique or form. Body image issues can also arise from peer pressure to appear flawless and “fit in,” as well as peer group dynamics.

Consequences of Poor Body Image

Adolescents who have a negative body image may exhibit extreme moodiness and avoid social events because they feel unfit to present in public. Long-term negative self-image thinking can have a negative impact on a person’s everyday life and result in mental health problems like sadness, depression or anxiety, or in more severe situations, eating disorders or body dysmorphic disorder. Even while the majority of teenagers do not develop eating disorders, some may struggle with problematic thinking patterns including body dissatisfaction, fear of being obese, or weight stigma. Low self-esteem in teens is closely linked to unhealthy body image, which can cause bad emotions and mood swings. Teenagers with poor self image are more prone to focus on the negative messages they are exposed to and to compare their bodies negatively to what they perceive to be the “ideal” body type.

Ways to develop Positive Body Image:

Adolescents and their parents require correct knowledge on healthy eating and the impacts of media, society, culture, peers, and family on body image if they are to support kids in experiencing good body image as the norm rather than the exception. Individual at a young age can recognize that there are many various sizes and forms for bodies. “Everyone is equal and unique”. It should be obvious and unambiguous that diverse forms and sizes are very common. Youngsters must be reassured of the physical and emotional changes that will occur throughout puberty.

As a teenager you can begin with:

  • Focusing on how the body appears, consider what it is capable of.
  • Look for the unique qualities that set a person apart from others.
  • Acceptance of one’s physique, even if not all elements are to one’s liking.
  • Including a variety of features and forms in one’s idea of beauty. Visit art galleries and other cultural activities to broaden your definition.
  • Assessing beauty based on personal qualities like personality and character. Keep a journal or write affirmations in it.
  • Focus on taking care of oneself instead of trying to look a certain way by eating healthily and exercising.
  • Keep a cheerful disposition and self-assurance. This can entail recording uplifting ideas.
  • Avoid subscribing to social media accounts/magazines that share photographs of unreal aspirations or remarks that are meant to shame someone’s physique.

Take help from health professional or an online counsellor to talk about the major changes that happen between childhood and youth. Evaluate your body image and weight issues. An expert mental health profession or an online counsellor can help you to promote healthy nutrition and educate you on realistic body weight. They can help you to highlight the good traits that kids and teenagers have, including those that have to do with beauty and those that don’t. They can talk about the harm that media portrayals of children and adolescents’ bodies may cause. They will empower you by educating you about the media and dispelling any unhealthful notions you may have about food, weight, and body image.