We are all affected by body image issues; however as children reach puberty, fitting in and looking the same as other people becomes even more important. A range of factors can also influence your teen’s body image, including their family environment, cultural background, the attitudes of their friends, and their exposure to advertising and the fashion industry. It’s important to always remember that males and females come in all different shapes and sizes, and that it’s unrealistic to idealise one ‘perfect’ body type.
Teenagers and in particular teenage girls are more likely to have a poor body image, but are also more at risk if they are perfectionists, have low self-esteem or have a body shape that’s obviously different from the ‘ideal’ shapes they see in the media.
These types of feelings can lead to distorted thoughts and emotions about their bodies, and negative thoughts about body image and self-worth can lead to changes in eating and exercise behaviours.