illustration: Josie Phelan
design: Morgan Kubetin
The ideal body image has changed over time as styles and trends change along with it. While being very skinny is not necessarily a trend right now, athleticism is. On social media, I am constantly seeing influencers such as Addison Rae and Kourtney Kardashian promoting daily workouts and changes that can be made in one’s diet to help maintain an athletic figure. Health and wellness are good, but influencers don’t understand the lengths some girls and boys will go to look like them.
There’s no harm in promoting a healthy lifestyle; it’s the unrealistic standards of living healthy that negatively impact teenagers today. Instead, if teens took the time to learn how to promote body positivity, girls and boys would have an easier time understanding and motivating one another.
At least for me, it’s close to impossible to only eat healthy food all day. At school I snack sometimes and at home, I eat home cooked meals. but most are protein based. Most of my unhealthy eating habits definitely come from when I am with my friends because we are always eating out. While I feel nasty sometimes after eating out with my friends, I try to remember that.
It’s all about a balance in what teens eat, but celebrities and influencers make them think they eat three salads a day, and that’s key to staying under a hundred pounds. Although, for a long time I let myself think that I needed to eat like them because I wanted to emulate their bodies, and at the moment I didn’t realize how much I was self-sabotaging because I was so blinded to realize everyone’s beautiful.
I was almost embarrassed to eat junk food because I wanted to seem healthy which sounds so weird but this was the beginning of high school. Seeing all the older more mature bodies of girls at the school I just wanted to look like them.
Learning about the effects of body image changed how I thought about myself and how I let the media impact my life. For a long time, the media changed my perception of beauty. I thought beautiful was defined as skinny yet fit with clear skin and expensive clothes.
Celebrities, like Dan Bilzerian and The Kardashians, give off a false idea of attractive. Bilzerian sends the wrong message to young females of the standards they should have for themselves.
When googling Bilzerian, there’s just photos of him with women all over him, most only in bathing suits climbing on him with their model-like figures. This is along with the negative message The Kardashians are sending their fans, with the plastic surgery they receive to all the dieting, lifestyle choices, workouts and on their show actually watching how they only eat salads.
All of this is completely unrealistic standards, especially the fact that they have access to way more resources to get that ideal body they want that most common households do not. Researching how to help one’s friends and family with body image is very useful especially since more people secretly struggle with it.
Kids also listen to how adults speak about their body at home, and they learn to think that way about themselves. Therefore, it is important in any case to encourage friends and loved ones to think positively of themselves and remind them of their beauty, under the surface.