Community//

Media impact on young girls’ body image.

It is time for a new message.

We’ve long understood movies, magazines and television damage young girls’ body image by enforcing a “thin ideal.” However, just how much impact they have was not discovered by me until I found a passion for body activism through Ashley Graham.

It was through her talks and further educating myself that one statistic after another kept proving there is clear evidence linking media and social media viewing to body image issues in young women, yet nothing is being done to stop it.

Some of the information I stumbled upon was staggering. A study conducted found 53% of 13-year-old American girls are unhappy with their bodies. That number grew to 78% by the time they reach 17. Another in Australia found seeing thin models in magazines made girls feel they weren’t pretty, or thin enough. Another, over 80% of 10-year-old American girls are afraid they are fat, and another found over 30% of 10 – 14-year-olds are actively dieting.

Dina Borzekowski, a professor at Johns Hopkins School of Public Health notes: “Social media has a stronger impact on children’s body image than traditional media. Messages are more targeted and if the message comes from a friend it is perceived as more credible.” She also emphasized children most at risk are those with more exposure to media messages and less exposure to rational, clear messages from supportive adults.

So, how do we, as adults, become that rational, clear voice that overpowers all the other messages young girls are bombarded with? We do it by leading by example.

We stop the shame cycle that comes with not fitting “the perfect body” image the fashion or fitness industry deems worthy.

We tell girls only 5% of the population can obtain the bodies seen in magazines without the help of being photoshopped.

We celebrate our bodies, our imperfections, and cellulite.

We radiate confidence by loving who we are and foster self-love from a young age.

So, ladies, it is time to give the media a new message. That message is, we, as women, love ourselves just as we are.

We love the bodies we stand in!

The Thrive Global Community welcomes voices from many spheres. We publish pieces written by outside contributors with a wide range of opinions, which don’t necessarily reflect our own. Learn more or join us as a community member!
Share your comments below. Please read our commenting guidelines before posting. If you have a concern about a comment, report it here.

Sign up for the Thrive Global newsletter

Will be used in accordance with our privacy policy.

Thrive Global
People look for retreats for themselves, in the country, by the coast, or in the hills . . . There is nowhere that a person can find a more peaceful and trouble-free retreat than in his own mind. . . . So constantly give yourself this retreat, and renew yourself.

- MARCUS AURELIUS

We use cookies on our site to give you the best experience possible. By continuing to browse the site, you agree to this use. For more information on how we use cookies, see our Privacy Policy.