Body Image And Self esteem In Adolescents

Body Image And Self esteem In Adolescents

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Body Image And Self esteem In Adolescents


Adolescence is a time of enormous change, socially, emotionally and physically. The way in which young people experience and see the world transforms from a narrow, mainly family focused point of view to a much wider perspective dominated by peers and new found independence. As their independent thought forms, the measures adolescents use to place themselves within this larger social framework also change and depend on different factors, factors that can influence their self esteem.

As adolescence is such a time of adjustment, young people place huge importance on the views and desires of their peer group, the group experiencing the same things that they are. This can lead to comparison, and constant comparison can have an effect on self esteem. If a young person perceives that a peer is more successful in a certain area than they are and desires that success for themselves, they might experience feelings of failure, yet they might not at this stage be equipped to rationalize the situation and appreciate that they have different qualities and talents.

Body image is a major factor in the world of adolescents. Not only are their bodies physically changing and becoming unfamiliar and more "adult", they are also exposed to a great many unrealistic ideals of how the body should look. Media portrayal of the "perfect body" promotes skinniness but curvaceousness in girls and the bulking up of boys. Adolescents who have only just stepped out of the world of childhood are left with a desire to achieve a body that is not only years ahead of where they are in terms of maturity, but probably naturally unattainable for the majority. Boys tend to "stretch out" and get taller before they develop the muscles of a mature male (if indeed they are going to develop these at all) and girls are taught to appreciate and aspire to the curves of a woman's body long before most could possibly achieve them.

Adolescence is new, exciting but confusing phase of life. As adults we can help guide our young people by offering advice and support, and by being aware of their needs and understanding their situations. Complimenting your child and helping them feel good about themselves and the way in which they see their body is a start to teaching them a positive perception of body image. Adults should also strive to act by example, and not get swept up in unrealistic aspirations and expectations of their own bodies.

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Body Image And Self esteem In Adolescents

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