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Added August 01, 2013

Teenage Girls: Negative Body Image

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"I know this is going to sound weird," Carrie confesses, "but when I eat too much junk food, I'm so guilty I actually hate myself. I'm the kind of person who has plenty of self-control in every other area except food. What makes it so hard is that most of the time when I'm cheating by eating bad stuff, I'm with my friends and having fun. When I'm with my family I eat regular meals and it's much easier to be good."

 

You would think from the words Carrie usesguilty, bad, cheating, hatethat she was talking about something more immoral or harmful than snacking on potato chips. You would think she was worried about the osteoporosis, anemia, obesity, and cardiovascular disease that might be made worse by eating certain foods. You would think at least that she had a weight problem. You would think that, but you'd be wrong.

 

The statistics tell the story. Although almost 80% of the teenage girls studied in a recent survey fall within the healthy weight range, less than 50% saw their weight as "about right." The proportion who wanted to lose weight increased from 69% in 7th grade to 82% in 12th gradeincluding 49% of underweight girls. In another study, more than 30% of nine-year-old girls expressed fear of fatness, increasing in age to over 80% among 18-year-olds. More than the dark, more than mice and snakes and scary movies, what most teenage girls fear is growing fat.

 

Why do so many teenage girls have a negative body image?
The surge in body fatness levels during adolescence and the normal associated changes in the female shape might explain why girls are more likely to experience a negative body image. Under the influence of sex hormones girls develop fat stores on the hips and thigh. This fear of fatness motivates otherwise sane young women to try unsafe methods of maintaining weight like smoking, laxatives, diuretics, crash diets, and vomiting, all presenting a greater threat to their health than obesity.

 

Who promotes this craziness?
There is no shortage of culprits. Certainly advertising, movies, fashion magazines, and TV, all forms of the media who flaunt the ultra-slender female form as the ultimate in feminine beauty, are partly to blame.


In Fiji, for centuries the ideal body was robust; "going thin," as they called it, was a cause of concern, not admiration. That was, until TV was introduced to this remote South Pacific island. Now a study reports that teen girls on the island were 50% more likely to feel "too big or fat."

 

Why is it that even if you and your best friend went on the same exact diet, the scale would show different results?
Researchers have learned that some people's genes make them more "metabolically efficient" than others. The answer to a strong, healthy body lies not in labeling any food as "good" or "bad." You can have that 200-calorie soda, just take a brisk walk for 40 minutes and burn them off.

 

Next time you're depressed because the mirror disappoints you, don't be tempted to fall for these myths:

1. Thin and healthy are the same.
2. Carbohydrates make you fat. (Too much of anything is no good for you.)
3. Protein builds muscle and burns fat. (Only exercise does that.)
4. Eating certain foods in combination can help you to lose weight.

Learn to see yourself through your grandma's eyes instead of that distorted mirror you rely on. There's no need to eliminate any food you enjoy from your diet. Just learn to make trade-offs and balance unhealthy foods with healthy ones. And keep on the move. The safest and most appropriate obesity prevention strategy is to get moving and exercise.

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.Maddie
.Maddie
Posted August 25, 2014
Caitlyn H. I am thirteen and I go between 118 and 120 lbs I eat very healthy my mom cooks every meal and we don't eat any processed Foods . I exercise a little here or there. Don't try to lose weight. Especially if you are tall like me. I'm five foot and five inches. You as well as myself are growing. Don't try to slim down when your body needs certain things from you. Try cutting out any junk food you may eat and replace it with a healthier option. Add in 15 minutes of exercise at a minimum everyday. If you don't lose weight your replacing unhealthy weight with good weight. If that makes sense. You also could be growing in girl areas. My bottom has gotten bigger in the last year, and so did my two older sisters when they were around thirteen. Also don't forget muscle weighs more than fat so maybe a good percentage of what your concerned about isn't even fat. Hope this helped.
PeaceandCoolness
PeaceandCoolness
Posted July 29, 2014
Caitlyn H, do you already have your period? If so, then just stay active. But if you don't have your period, all you can really do is maintain 119 pounds. Your body will start doing really weird things if you try to lose weight during adolescence. It needs the calories to help your body grow, and if you try to lose 9 pounds it won't have enough calories to burn. Try eating leafy greens and soup. Salad is a great meal. Use lite dressing instead of regular. Eating healthy doesn't have to be gross. I love eating Laughing Cow cheese. If you want a snack, spread it on crackers. Keep staying active the same amount you always are. Hope I helped:)
Caitlin.H
Caitlin.H
Posted July 24, 2014
Im 13 about to turn 14 in 40 days and I have a stomach ,but I eat a lot . I only weigh 119 pounds ,but I want to weigh 110. how do I loose that much? Plus ,I want sorta abs .
DJ Candy
DJ Candy
Posted July 24, 2014
They talk about how commercials give girls a negative body image when the people in commercials are fully grown women. Doctors made me have a negative body image because I'm overweight and I'm way smaller than anyone else. I also have a friend who is tall and skinny and she thinks she is not beautiful because the is overweight when she is skinny and she's overweight because she is tall doctors need a real weight when they compare your weight they should all exchange weights and the average should be the 'correct' weight
DJ Candy
DJ Candy
Posted July 24, 2014
I have another friend with big boobs who is overweight because of her boobs
SummerLuver17
SummerLuver17
Posted July 29, 2014
My best friend and I -like most girls our age 17 and 19- just hate our weight, and the funny part is that we sometimes even envy each other! Although she has a healthy weight (120lbs at 5'2) she calls herself a 'fat cow' and wishes she were taller and thinner like me, while I hate the way I look because I feel so thin at barely 100 lbs at 5'5. No matter how much I eat, I just can't gain weight, which I consider bad and my friend absolutely would love to have that 'advantage'. I have no curves and my clothes fit me loose, so imagine how that's like! Anyways, even if we should love ourselves for who we are, it's always teen girl nature to want what you don't have. Life just works that way.
AFRICANpink
AFRICANpink
Posted June 16, 2014
Fat people don't only feel insecure,thin people do.I'm soo thin people call me a skeleton :(
talata
talata
Posted May 12, 2014
i am too skinny
BlackVeiledBride
BlackVeiledBride
Posted June 09, 2014
I'm 12 years old, almost 13 and I am 4'11'' and weigh 127 pounds. Am I over weight? I have a tummy and when I bend over I have rolls.--------
Cookiexox
Cookiexox
Posted May 30, 2014
I feel like people should also pay attention to the skinny girls who are insecure (like me). It's really not easy. People stare at me and that's why I don't even wear shorts or short sleeved t-shirts. There was a time I decided to wear a pair of skinny jeans cos I thought I looked good, until I heard someone say 'ugh she's so skinny'. I feel like everywhere I go that's what people r saying. At school people tell me I need to eat more but what they don't know is that I probably eat more than them but I just can't gain weight! But it feels like that's the only thing I can do to be accepted by society, to stop the looks and snarky comments, to look and feel pretty, to look and feel normal. Cos right now, I feel like a freak.
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