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Body Image Essay, Research Paper

Do you look in the mirror and pick yourself apart? Do you constantly worry

about what you look like? You might be thinking, ?Sure, no big deal.? But, the way

you look at yourself and how you “talk” to yourself on a daily basis can have a huge

impact on your life. One of the largest influence on teenage girls is the media.The

media pushes body image, clothes, and fast food. At the same time they push

weight lose with unrealistic results. The combination of all the above leads teenage

girls down the road to eating disorders and a confusing self-image

When you are not happy with who you are it is hard to be a good friend and a good

student. If your mind is on what you don’t like about yourself and your body, then

you are ignoring the good things that make you experience life positively, leaving

you with a negative view of the world. This outlook affects how you treat other

people, how you do in classes, and how you deal with problems on a day to day

basis. Just imagine what you are missing when you are spending all of your time

thinking about how you look!

There is a common problem among teenage girls eating disorders. Eating

disorders refers to seeing your body and food in a negative way. For instance, if

you were to eat a piece of chocolate cake, then go to the mirror and tell yourself

that you ate more than you should have, you are looking at food in a negative way.

Food keeps you alive. Without the right amounts of vitamins and minerals, your

body won’t work well. Yet many women, especially teenagers, see food as the

enemy. In the process of saying that food is the enemy, the media is saying that

fast food is the quick and easy way to eat. Their target audience are teenagers. In

essence, teenagers are getting a mixed message. Eating fatty food on the run, look

good, and the only way see how to do this is by unrealistic means.

Girls are taught from a young age that the key to success is beauty. The

commercial media, for example, pays no attention to girls’ minds and life goals.

Instead, they show us Naomi Campbell, Nikki Taylor, and other popular models,

telling us that this is what you should go for. As the well-known Body Shop slogan

says, “There are three billion women who don’t look like supermodels and only

eight who do.” Yet millions of women skip meals, skip dessert, and treat food as

their enemy just to look like the impossibly thin women on the covers of today’s


Even those who love and support you might be accidentally leading you into hurtful

behaviors. When you see a parent or loved one going on strict diets or exercising a

lot, you might feel that what they are doing is normal. You might even be

encouraged then to diet and exercise as much as they do. While they think they are

trying to teach you good habits, they might actually be teaching you to do things

that hurt your body.

If you look in any nutrition book, you will find something about Recommended Daily

Allowances of vitamins and minerals. Now, look at the labels on the food you eat.

Often, when you go on diets, you eat foods that are low in the nutrients you need

like calcium and iron. These things keep you energetic and strong. Your body does

not work as well without them. While calories might seem bad to a dieter, when you

have less calories in your diet, and less nutritious food, you are really taking out one

of the things your body needs to store energy.

So what do you do? While it is hard to change your body, it is easier to change your

body image. Counseling, for one, is very important. To change the way you see

your body, you need to understand why you feel the way you do. Are you just a

self-critical person, or does someone you know make you feel bad about yourself?

It takes work to look at a model in a magazine and realize that she is probably

airbrushed, meaning that photographers and artists used computers and programs

to erase any blemishes and often to add certain shapes to her body. Those girls on

the covers of magazines may not have the great abs you are led to think they do.

With the right lighting and some computer work, anybody can look like a “model.”

Body image has a tremendous impact on girls in America. Weather they

grow up to be teachers, doctors, lawyers, house wives, or any profession they

choose. The pressure of how the look causes girls and young women to turn to

eating disorders and extreme behavior. It?s upsetting that teenage girls feel this

way, but it is the reality of today. How can this problem be changed? There could

be more regular and plus sized models in magazines and on television. Less ads for

diets that cause people to lose massive amounts of weight in a short period of time,

only to have it return. I don?t know the answer to this problem, but it does need to

be solved. As a teenage girl affected by the perfect image I?m concerned and hope

that the answer will be found.

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