It’s not hard to believe that the thought of summer for a young girl brings about teenage girl body image issues. The expectation to have the “perfect beach body” is plastered all over magazines, billboards, advertisements, and more–how could teenage girl body image issues not develop as a result? In a recent New York Times article, a study concerning the way the media and society’s expectations of women affects young girls was discussed.
The “perfect” body standard is creating teenage girl body image issues
In the article, a study from 1998 was reviewed. In the study, girls and boys were asked to go into a dressing room and either put on a sweater or a swimsuit, then they were instructed to basically take a math test. What they found was alarming. There was no difference for young men, but for young women the difference was enormous. The girls in bathing suits scored significantly lower than girls in sweaters–but why? Researchers think that if a girl is pushed to reflect on her appearance, she actually loses focus. They believe this derives from raising girls in a society which objectifies and focuses on the female body.
The media persistently pushes what the “perfect” female body looks like–which in turn creates teenage girl body image issues. In another study reviewing the effects of social media on teenage girl body image, researchers discovered that girls who spent a large amount of time appraising their friends’ images had a worse view of their own body.
Get your daughter to question the media
Obviously the media poses a threat to healthy mental development in our daughters, but we can’t just suddenly cut them off from all technology–so what can we do? Encourage your daughter to ask questions and think about the media they’re being exposed to. If they become more skeptical towards the media they’re consuming, it can impact the weight it holds when they’re forming their body image.
Solstice East can help
Solstice East is a residential treatment center for girls, ages 14 to 18, grappling with depression, anxiety, trauma, teenage girl body image issues, and other emotional or behavioral problems. We strive to help our girls develop healthy habits and lead themselves back onto a path of success and happiness.
For more information about how Solstice East treats challenges related to teenage girl body image issues, please call 828-484-9946.