What do Lady Gaga, Princess Diana, Katie Couric, Jennifer Hudson, Jennifer Lopez, Jessica Simpson, and Katy Perry have in common?
They have all either dealt with body image issues or being scrutinized by the media for their body image. It is a very public battle for them especially because they are constantly in the spotlight.
There is a very disturbing statistic that young girls and women today are pressured more than ever to maintain a false and disordered body image. The disturbing part is that issues with one’s body image starts at a much earlier age than we expect. The risks for anorexia and bulimia are higher than in the past.
- 80% of children who are 10 years old are afraid of being fat.
- 80% of 10-year-old girls have dieted. 90% of high school junior and senior women diet regularly. Young girls are more afraid of becoming fat than they are of nuclear war, cancer, or losing their parents.
- Nearly a quarter of girls age 15-17 would consider undergoing plastic surgery.
- More than 90 percent of girls – 15 to 17 years – want to change at least one aspect of their physical appearance, with body weight ranking the highest.
- 8 out 10 women are not happy with their reflection.
- More than 50% of 10 year old girls wish they were thinner.
- The current media ideal of thinness is achieved by less than 5% of the female population.
- Approximately 1 in 100 women in the US binge and purge in order to lose weight. (Source)
Fortunately, some celebrities, Lady Gaga, have recently taken a personal crusade to get the word about developing a positive body image. She has shared about her personal battle with eating disorders during her teens. Katie Couric has also come out with information about her personal battle with bulimia during her college years.
I believe that there needs more information within social media and in the schools about incorporating a positive body image. Today’s generation of young girls and women have a little bit more difficult than previous generation with tougher pressures that were not dealt with before.
I also believe that the media should not scrutinize celebrities for their body image and weight. It is just another form of bullying that should be allowed. It is completely unacceptable and should not be tolerated.
As a mother of young pre-teen, I believe that promoting healthy choices and a healthy attitude is the best strategy to decrease the risk for lower self-esteem and body image. It is important to accept them “just the way they are” like in Bruno Mars’s song. If you are a parent, sibling, or friend to a young girl or woman, please sure to tell them how beautiful they are and help start the process of promoting a healthy body image.