Media and Self-Image
We are constantly bombarded with what the “ideal body” should look like. It is omnipresent in all kinds of media such as television, billboards, magazines, and even more commonly these days, on social media. As the media attempts to dictate what “pretty” means, it is very damaging to the most impressionable: young girls faced with extremely unrealistic body standards. Most will not fit the extremely thin, tall, and overall “flawless” images that are pushed every day.
While we should be celebrating diversity and how everyone is unique, that is not generally what trends as popular content. This ends up sowing discontent with personal appearances and leads to greater insecurities and potentially eating disorders.
Young girls who are struggling with their weight or their appearance seem to hear the media screaming, “You need to look this way to be pretty.” This can lead to a lot of self-esteem issues.
In a study, reported on by the New York Times, researchers found that at 9 years old, when girls were asked if they were comfortable with how they looked and who they were, 60 percent responded positively. Once they hit high school, this figure steeply dropped to 29 percent. This shows that there’s a serious factor making young girls’ self-esteems plummet and many think that factor is the media. Low self-esteem is a factor in the development of an eating disorder.
What causes eating disorders in teens?
There are many factors that contribute to the development of eating disorders. From the Mayo Clinic, some of the common external factors that lead to eating disorders in teens include:
- Society’s pressure: this includes the popular idea that thin is healthy. Many girls with average weights could develop the perception that they’re not thin enough.
- Activities that require a certain body type: this includes activities like modeling or athletic sports. Often these activities emphasize leanness, increasing the risk for teen eating disorders.
How to get help
Eating disorders in teens can become a huge, life-ruining issue if ignored. With the proper treatment and care, your daughter can overcome their disorder and move forward. Solstice East is a residential treatment center for struggling girls, ages 14 to 18. Solstice East specializes in providing care and treatment for girls having difficulties dealing with trauma, self-esteem issues, and many more.
For more information on how Solstice East can help with eating disorders in teens, call us today at 828-484-9946.