Healthy Body Image

Media and Their Effects on Teenagers’ Perception of Body Image

We all know it. The media have a powerful influence on how society thinks. And our teenagers’ perception of their own body image is one example. There are studies that show how the media and their focus on the ideal body image affect the tendency of the teenagers to succumb to depression, anxiety, and eating disorders. The media portray models that exude the ideal physique and when people are exposed to them, there might be an effect on how they perceive their body image that could lead them to have eating disorders in their hopes of having a perfect body. They may become dissatisfied with their bodies.  And if they do not achieve that kind of perfect body, they might feel the pressure which could lead to anxiety and depression. Media effects were manifested in the teenagers’ satisfaction with their respective body images and positive or negative affect towards their bodies such as their levels of self-esteem, anger, or anxiety.

Here at Parenting My Teen, we understand that our teenagers are complex beings and there are numerous factors that influence their attitudes and behaviors. But there is no denying that media can have a big influence on people’s perception of the ideal body that could shape their disposition towards their body image. But we have to realize that as parents, we have an important task to explain to our children how media possibly distort our perceptions. We should always be cautious of how they use the different information and images available to them.

This is an important and relevant issue concerning our teenagers’ mental health.  We should help them maintain a healthy and positive body image despite the pressure and media exposure.  Yes, media can be an influencing factor in affecting one’s body image but the bulk of the task still relies on the family who is really the molder of the children’s attitudes and perceptions.  It would still be best to encourage our teenagers to recognize different body types and promote love of self no matter the body size and not just focus on having the perfect physique.