" I would be happy if I were skinny"

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Body image and self esteem are two important issues facing many teens today. Almost every girl want to look like a Victorias secret model, and almost every guy wants to be as muscular as the men in magazines.
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Many teenagers have a hard time recognizing changes that are happening to them in these teen years. As a teenagers body changes their self esteem changes as well. Some people begin to feel " not skinny enough", "not pretty enough", and generally not good enough. I think it is really important to stress true beauty in young people. Inner or true beauty is something that cannot be obtained from being thinner or prettier, but from having a positive outlook on life. Personally, I think it is a parents responsibility to help their child realize what true beauty is, and where it comes from. In an article from 2002, I read that there is a strong correlation between body image and interpersonal relationship. The study concluded positive correlation between self esteem and the following things:high reading and math achievement, small family size,early ordinal position in the family, and high parental warmth. Of theses variable, the one that we can control for future generations is parental warmth. What are your opinions on this topic? What variable do you think has the largest impact on the self esteem of a child? This study was done on college females, so do you think the study would be different if i were a different gender or age?


Crystal, D Paul.A correlation study of body image and perceived parental nurturance in college females. April 27 and 28 2002 http://www.charis.wlc.edu/publications/symposium_spring02/paul.pdf

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I think this is something good to talk about. I definitely understand the positive correlation between high self esteem and high parental warmth. If your mom told you as a young highschooler that you were overweight or ugly, then that would obviously rip at your self esteem. I think that the correlation would probably be pretty similar if done on highschool age girls as opposed to college age. Self esteem issues don't really just disappear once you get to college.

I find this blog post to be interesting since I have never really thought about self esteem when it comes to different age groups and gender. I haven't looked into any research but based on stories that I have heard, it seems as though young girls have low self esteem and it seems to disappear as they get older and with young boys they get lower self esteem as they get older, which may have a lot to do with physical appearance.

Very interesting blog. I think the biggest factor that impacts the self-esteem of people or children, is the media. This including magazines, weight loss shows, television shows, and the like. Yes, a good relationship with parents definitely accounts for a higher self-esteem, but conversely to this, media accounts for a lower self-esteem. Of course, this doesn't apply to all individuals, but it does to many. I have, on occasion, wished very much to be beautiful and skinny like the countless models and actresses in the world; that's not to say that I don't yearn for their beauty any more, but I've more accepted the fact that I am my own person. Lastly, I don't think age is really a prominent factor in determining self-esteem, sure the older you get, the more mature you become (for most people anyways), thus, the more you'll realize how important it is to love yourself, but that doesn't mean that you won't yearn to be as beautiful as models. I guess it's all about physical appearance and image to most people.

I think that the most attractive attribute anyone can have is confidence. Even if a person is not considered very attractive by some people, if that person can tap into self-confidence, it can take them wherever they want to go.
Granted, it is hard to gain self-confidence if people treat you poorly, but if people can find a way to look past it and gain confidence, they will be able to do anything.
Confidence is sexy!!

I think the way body image portrayed in the media today has a huge effect on self esteem. The fact that all magazines use photoshop to make their models look just right seems almost sickening at times. They use photoshop on every celebrity for just about everything: to make their legs look longer, get rid of cellulite, smooth out skin, make skin look darker, you name it, they change it. They want to make sure their models look as flawless as possible, when in reality, they have the same problems normal people do. I don't know what the media thinks they are accomplishing by putting these perfect looking people into our magazines. As far as what's important, most people agree that inner beauty is what is truly important. I think children should learn from their parents from the start that inner beauty and having a great personality is more important than physical appearance.

Body image definitely has a big impact on self esteem. I feel like people that are generally more attractive often have a high self-esteem and are very confident. I think that parents have a big impact on their child's self esteem, both genetically and environmentally. If the parents have a high self esteem, that trait will probably pass down to their child. If the reinforce positive self-esteem to their children, that will probably also help raise their self esteem.

Body image is certainly a rising problem in America. We place so much importance and admiration on petite and fit 'perfect' bodies in our country. I mean, think about it, we air the Victoria's Secret Fashion Show on NATIONAL cable television, glorifying the petite models representing the company. Now, don't get me wrong, they certainly are attractive women and the bodies they have don't come without exercise and a healthy diet. Situations such as this that glorify these types of women so far put extreme pressure on young girls who don't yet understand that it is natural and essential for their bodies to change as the grow older.

My question is this: have you considered what men who fight body image issues go through? Often times, low self-esteem due to body figure is considered a "girls only" issue in our society, but it is far from such. Boys also have body image issues and feel MORE embarrassed admitting so due to the fact that body self-consciousness is only a "girls issue." Because of this delay in seeking help, boys can often times find themselves further in trouble and needing MORE help once they finally choose to seek professional help.

I liked the points that you made on inner beauty quite a lot. The question that I raise is that while both boys and girls are affected by viewing images of beautiful models constantly, why is it that females developing disorders are much more predominant than males? Why doesn't there seem to be nearly as many men who work out to the point of danger as there are anorexic women? Is it a fault of societal pressures, genetics, or just not publicizing men with disorders as much?

After reading this blog, I feel so true about what it said. In China, there are so many girls want to lose weight, they don't eat, they even want to do the operation to lose their weight with no reason. If you ask them, they will always say I am too fat!! But actually, they are in a kind of misunderstanding and locate themselves in a wrong way. They think slim is beauty, they do everything just for being beautiful. However, they didn't think about what their real value is , and they didn't find out what is the most important thing in the world out of being beautiful.

In response to your question, I believe that the factor that has the largest impact on the self-esteem on a child can be divided into two sections. During the first part of childhood (0-9) I feel that self-esteem depends on the relationship the child has with their parents and during the second half of their childhood (10-18)It depends on their relationship with their peers. Strong friendships allow the child to have someone else besides their parents to reinforce that they are fine as a person and I believe this is very important.

You raise some excellent points in this post. I definitely agree that parental warmth has a huge impact on a child's self-esteem and greatly helps them during their teenage years. I also think that it is important for the child to logically analyze their reactions to supermodels. If the child can say "I'm where I need to be in terms of weight for a person my age and height" or "There might be photoshop and computer techniques used in this ad" it might lessen the burden such ads place on children's self-esteem. I also definitely think there should be more studies done on males or if they are being done, more publicity about them since most studies I have heard about only involve females.

I'd definitely ask the question of whether the good qualities are caused by high self esteem or whether high self esteem contributes to the good qualities. I completely agree with your post though. True beauty is definitely more important, if you don't have a good personality I don't think you have anything to really be all that proud of. Sadly, even girls that have the good looks and the true beauty fall victim to thinking they're fat, or ugly or whatever :/ and I think that's the worst part.

I definitely agree that parents play a huge role in self esteem and body image in kids. My parents and I are very close and I have never really had self esteem issues or body image concerns. However, I have had friends who are prettier and skinnier than I am who feel that they are ugly. I always wondered how they could think that but maybe psychology offers the explanation. They could not have parental warmth or some of the other factors that you listed.

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This page contains a single entry by skaar067 published on April 4, 2012 1:38 PM.

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