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It’s all phones and mirrors: Negative teen body image and how you can help

It’s all phones and mirrors: Negative teen body image and how you can help

If there’s one thing most teens care about, it’s their reflection in the mirror. Teens care so much about their appearance because their bodies are constantly changing and many of them are suffering from acne issues, body odor, and hair growing in places it’s never grown before. Most of them criticize their appearance everyday. This criticism, whether it’s inflicted by themselves, their parents or peers, causes teen body image to suffer.When teen body image is criticized, that’s when problems can begin. Teens can develop eating disorders, anxiety, or even depression because of teen body image issues.

Social media changes everything

It’s pretty well known that teens are heavily influenced by the media. Years ago, teen body image was negatively affected by the impossibly thin, beautiful, and buff celebrities and models found in movies, television, and the covers of magazines. Although teens are still influenced by these mediums, social media is the major culprit of negative teen body image nowadays.

teen body image

Image source: Flickr user- desiitaly

The lives of teens are saturated by social media. They check their phones constantly, scoping out instagram, pinterest, tumblr and facebook for the latest pictures and posts. These spaces are covered with images of bikini-ready bodies, six pack abs, and street fashion that causes both envy and negative teen body image among today’s teenagers.

Helping improve negative teen body image

As their parent, it is your job to make sure your teen knows that looks aren’t everything. Everyday, boost their confidence by pointing out something positive about them that isn’t their appearance. Instead of “you look pretty today”, say “you did really great in that game last night”. Encourage them to wear clothes that compliment them, no matter what body shape they are. That way, they can feel confident no matter what they look like.

Get them to do something nice for themselves everyday. To improve teen body image, teens need to learn how to love themselves for who they are. In order to do that, they need to take time out of their day to appreciate themselves- whether that’s by taking a bubble bath, journaling, or going on a long walk. You should also take the time to show how much you love them. Make time out of every week to spend time with your teen and really get to know them. That way, you know exactly what to say when they’re feeling down about themselves.

ViewPoint Center can help

ViewPoint Center is a teen mental hospital helping teens struggling with mental illnesses such as depression, anxiety and eating disorders. If your teen has formed a mental illness related to a negative teen body image issue, ViewPoint Center can help diagnose and treat your teen.

For more information about ViewPoint Center, please call 801-825-5222.

 

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