Teenage Girls pressured to have the “Perfect Body”

Hallie Acevedo, Staff Writer

Body image is the biggest concern that many adolescents are worried about. Teenage girls often feel as if they need to have a “perfect body”. This leads to them obsessing over their bodies and picking out every flaw from it. 

Especially in this age of social media, teen girls constantly spend time scrolling through pictures of these seemingly perfect people. Social media is proven to affect a girl’s self-esteem according to recent research. Studies from the University of South Wales in the United Kingdom showed that people who spend more than an hour on social media are more unhappy with their bodies than those who spend less time on social media websites. 

“Social media engagement with attractive peers increases negative state body image,” explained researchers Mills and Hogue. “They felt worse about their own appearance after looking at social media pages of someone that they perceived to be more attractive than them.” 

I am a teen girl who personally deals with body dysmorphia and I can say that Instagram and other social media sites in that sort have definitely contributed to that. Body dysmorphic disorder is a mental health disorder in which you can’t stop thinking about one or more perceived defects or flaws in your appearance. I spend a lot of time obsessing over what is wrong with my appearance after being on social media looking at all these women with the “perfect bodies”. These obsessive thoughts cause people with BDD to spend an excessive amount of time trying to fix their flaws and sometimes can’t control their negative thoughts. When people tell them that they look fine, it’s extremely hard for them to believe it. 

“Constant exposure to altered images can lead to an unhealthy pressure to achieve unrealistic body types, which can result in body dysmorphic behaviors,” Alyce Adkins simplified. “Social media has become increasingly dangerous, especially for teens, who are most susceptible to suffering from insecurity and depression.”

We need to aid teen girls into loving themselves and not comparing themselves to others on social media while feeding off it. They need to understand that nobody’s perfect and most of the things they see online are false. They need to stop feeding off those social media posts and learn to love themselves. 

“Being a healthy woman isn’t about getting on a scale or measuring your waistline,” Michelle Obama once spoke. “We need to start focusing on what matters – on how we feel, and how we feel about ourselves.”