Girls all around the world are faced with the pressures surrounding self-image. Most teen girls want to have the “perfect body.” Girls face pressure from society, social media, television, magazines, and so many more. Although, body positivity has become more popular, there are still instances of women being self-incriminating about the way that they look.
Society puts pressure on girls to have nice bodies and beautiful faces, when girls don’t live up to expectations, society dismisses them. This results in girls having self-esteem issues, eating disorders, and gives them a desire to get plastic surgery.
Up to 20% of people die of anorexia if untreated and 50% of girls from the ages of 11-13 think of themselves as overweight. Girls from age 10 are more likely to think about suicide if they believe they are overweight; 19.8-24% of adolescents are at risk for suicidal tendencies due to body image.
Social media influences girls to try and look a certain way. Posts on Instagram feeds and Snapchat are girls in bikinis posing for pictures and showing off their fit bodies. Models and celebrities often flaunt themselves through social media posts, making girls insecure about the way they look. In addition to television and magazines, girls see these posts every day and are constantly reminded of what they do not have and what they wish to be.
Even though there is a lot of negative pressure that comes from social media, recently social media has become a safe place for body positive women to show themselves and be confident in the way they look. Body positive influencers, such as Ashley Graham and Lizzo are becoming more prevalent.
Alyssa Acevedo states, “I think social media really hurts girls self esteem because there are Snapchat filters that makes girls faces slimmer and have bigger eyes. On Instagram all you see is people with perfect bodies, but in reality those girls usually face tune themselves to look better. I think body positive influencers are very inspirational for a majority of people, but I also think it hurts girls too because that may be a state of confidence that other girls think they might never be able to reach. Overall I think this is a really hard topic because no one has the same body as another person. We are all shaped differently and that is just how it is.”
Clothing brands have more body positive women posing in their ads. This is a great step towards helping girls become confident in the way they look and helps young girls understand that they don’t have to be ashamed of their bodies if they aren’t “perfect.”
Body positive women inspire young girls to accept the way they look and not feel as though they are being judged by society. It is a positive shift in a platform that has only shown perfection.