To what extent does body image impact self-esteem in young, adolescent girls?
Fashion is a topic I am passionate about and it isn’t just about the clothes being made, but in fact it broadens to the people who wear the clothes. A lot of models that walk down the run ways are very petite in their structure and I think this gives the wrong idea of what they believe they should look like. Instead of having, tall, skinny and petite girls there should be girls of all ranges of body sizes. A lot of younger girls look up to these girls that are considered ‘perfect’, but when they don’t look the same they start to pick at themselves thinking they aren’t good enough, they’re ‘fat’ and need to lose weight to be that small size…the body image in which the social medias and fashion models give out are the images that majority of young girls want to look like now, it brings them down and makes them question themselves.
I have found diagrams from my research that shows the flow between social media and a mental health issue. I have found out that the more exposed a person is to social media attitudes, the more they take in which affects them. An example would be a young female scrolling through her Instagram on a daily basis and the Kardashian’s pop up, she sees this ‘perfect’ tiny body which can make them feel as though they are unable to look like that. This results in people developing eating disorders or going through dieting techniques that have been promoted for a slimmer body which may contain harmful ingredients. For example, some slimming teas contain diuretics which essentially can cause; dehydration, muscle cramps, diarrhoea and fluid loss. The effects of body image awareness on self-esteem are known to be detrimental during the teenage years. However, it's perfectly normal to have negative thoughts and feelings towards yourself every now and then, and finding ways to be positive within yourself is the way in which will boost a person’s self-esteem. Social media is one of the biggest impacts in my opinion on a person’s body image and self-esteem. It definitely makes people second guess themselves and introduces them to wanting to change to be ‘prettier’, ‘skinnier’ and have the ‘perfect’ body. All over social media there are celebrities who post their images or their bodies have been photo-shopped to appear ‘perfect’. Not only photo-shopped but also many celebrities have had surgery to improve themselves. This gives young girls an idea of what ‘beautiful’ is, and what gives them attention and ‘likes’. There needs to be more people like “Grace fit” on Instagram, an inspirational young woman who encourages healthy eating, gym etc. to help get a healthier body, she encourages all shapes and sizes.
More research found, showed me that body image, anxiety, depression etc. are all negatively impacted due to the Medias. Creating evidence that it does affect an individual’s body image and therefore it is going to affect someone’s self-esteem. Although, the Media does have a positive effect on people; it gave them emotional support. For example, social Medias may affect mental illnesses but it can also be a positive image to how it can help a young person to talk about things over the internet when they can’t speak to someone in person.
In conclusion, I think that the media has more of a negative impact to adolescent girls that it does positive.