Media and Body Image

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The media has a profound effect on people, particularly women, and the way that they perceive themselves and their bodies. Thanks to television, the Internet, and movies, media has a strong hold on women's personal perceptions of what beauty is supposed to be. Because of this, it has been known to contribute to some women experiencing eating disorders like anorexia and bulimia. Young girls, teenagers, and even young adults should educate themselves about having a healthy body, and learn how to accept themselves for the beautiful person they are inside.

Here are some statistics relating to the media and how it has an effect on women and their body image:

  • Most models weigh an average of 23% less than a typical woman. Twenty years ago, this difference was a mere 8%.
  • Over twenty years ago, the diet business was not as profitable as it is now, with much of this relating to the media. Today, this industry consists of over $33 billion each year.
  • There has been at least a sixty percent increase over the last twenty five years in the way women are portrayed; now, over half of women in media are perceived as sexual objects.
  • Shockingly, problems with eating disorders have increase over 400% since the year 1970.
  • Only five percent of women in the US actually fit the current body type popularly portrayed in advertising today.
  • Teen People Magazine conducted a recent survey. In it, they discovered that over 25% of the girls surveyed felt that the media makes them feel pressure to have a perfectly shaped body.
  • In another study, 69% of girls concurred that models found in magazines had a major influence on their concept of what a perfect body shape should look like.

20 Tips to Help You Feel Better About Your Body

  1. Write down a list of the many things your body allows you to do, then read it often and add to it as you think of new things.
  2. Be conscious about what your body is capable of every day. Keep in mind that the body is the instrument of your life and more than just decoration.
  3. Come up with a list of people who influence you and who you look up to: those in your personal life, your neighborhood, and the world as a whole. Think about whether or not the way they look is a factor in deciding on their individual success or achievements.
  4. Always take pride in yourself as a human being and walk tall and proudly.
  5. Do not let your weight or body shape have any influence on whether or not you take part in sports or other activities.
  6. Try to wear clothes that feel comfortable and that make you feel confident when you wear them.
  7. You should always count your blessings and never count or worry about your blemishes.
  8. Take a moment to consider all of the things you can do with your time and energy that you might spend worry about the way you look. Then, try to accomplish one of those things!
  9. Support your body and be a friend to it; be healthy.
  10. You might not know that your skin actually replaces itself every month, your stomach lining is replaced every five days, your liver replenishes every six weeks, and your skeleton does it every three months.
  11. Each day when you get up, be thankful for the rest you've gotten and that your body is now every morning when you wake up, your body is rejuvenated again so you can be strong and happy throughout your day.
  12. Each night, remember how much you should appreciate your body and remember what you've been able to accomplish during the day.
  13. Discover a way to get exercise that you enjoy, and then make it a habit. Do not just get exercise to lose weight. Do it in order to stay healthy so you can be stronger and feel your best.
  14. Go back to a past time in life when you felt confident about your body. Remember that you can feel that way again no matter what age you are now.
  15. Come up with ten positive things about you, but don't include anything about the way you look. Then, add more to it as you go!
  16. Make a sign and put it on your mirror telling yourself you are a beautiful person both inside and outside.
  17. Look for the beauty in things around you, as well as in yourself.
  18. Keep telling yourself that life is much too short to dislike your body.
  19. Do not starve yourself; eat when you feel hungry and get good rest when you're tired. Be around people who are encouraging, and who make you feel good about yourself inside.
  20. Remember that the most important person in your life is yourself, and you have an obligation to yourself to be happy and healthy.

Check out these other helpful resources to learn more:

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