It’s not easy being a teenager in the internet age. We compare ourselves to pop stars and movie stars on TV or in magazines, people we secretly envy and even friends. Teenagers also have to deal with the entire internet.
Sadly, that means putting up with a lot of body shaming. Body shaming means putting down a certain body type, appearance, or weight—whether someone is too skinny, too fat, too pear-shaped, or whatever.
We live in a culture where it has become normal to comment on other people’s bodies. Girls are most affected, obviously, but don’t underestimate the effect on boys either. The pressure to have a ‘six pack’ or look a certain way is enormous.
We all know all bodies are different and that it’s impossible to all adhere to the same beauty standard. But the reality is, that body shaming has led to a pervasive culture, especially among teenage girls, of how they are supposed to look.
Here’s what we can do:
- Love Our Own Bodies
We can’t convincingly tell others that they’re perfect the way they are without loving our own bodies first.
- Affirm Other Teens
Your friends need to hear from us that they are good the way they are, that their bodies are good.
- Watch Our Words
The third thing we can do is to watch our words when we talk about bodies. We may me body shaming and not even realize it.