Is there too much pressure on girls to have perfect bodies?
I sure think so.
There's a constant pressure on girls to look a certain way. We see it everywhere. In pop culture, all you see are models and actresses all basically the same size. It's discouraging for girls who don't look the same.
Young girls are highly impressionable to images they encounter daily. According to Body Image Therapy Center, an outpatient treatment center for those suffering from eating disorders, 81 percent of 10-year-olds are afraid of being fat. Additionally, 89 percent of girls have dieted by age 17.
There are many different causes for eating disorders. Some factors include low self-esteem, major life transitions, social difficulties and traumatic events like sexual and physical abuse. However, research shows mass media contributes to an increase in body dissatisfaction and disordered eating.
According to the National Eating Disorders Association, "Of American elementary school girls who read magazines, 69 percent say that the pictures influence their concept of the ideal body shape, and 47 percent say the pictures make them want to lose weight."
Despite these alarming statistics, media organizations continue to bombard the public with images of thin models.
Last month, Victoria's Secret came under fire after Chief marketing officer Ed Razek said he didn't think the brand should have to include plus-size models in its annual fashion show.
It's disheartening to hear this and goes to show how large companies still don't care about plus-size girls. Comments like these can make girls who don't look like the models on the runway feel left out and unrepresented.
Another issue arising is the publication of highly edited pictures in magazines, ads and especially on social media.
On Instagram, there are pictures of girls who are seemingly perfect. But behind those pictures, are hours of editing and applying filters. People need to remind themselves those pictures aren't always real.
While the body positivity movement continues to grow and some brands are ditching the use of Photoshop, there is still a long way to go in order to accomplish significant change.