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Body Image Issues

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Body image issues in teens tend to result from the toxic combination of a distorted self-image, a poor body image, and self-esteem issues. Body image issues can also be affected by negative projections from friends, family, and popular culture. Although body image issues can affect any teenager, girls are more susceptible.

What Are Body Image Issues?

Body image issues, often an antecedent of body dysmorphic disorder, are characterized by a negative body image that causes a person to dislike the way they look. In response to a poor body image, a person with body image issues often performs repetitive behaviors to try to hide or improve their flaws. In most cases, such poor body image behaviors only bring about temporary relief.

Examples of behaviors calculated to address body image issues include repeatedly looking in a mirror or avoiding mirrors, camouflaging a flaw, excessive grooming, skin picking, and even seeking surgery. Retouched media images that are unrealistic often generate negative body image issues in teens.

Teens with negative body image are more likely to develop eating disorders, suffer from feelings of depression and anxiety, and experience obsessive-compulsive disorders. Treatments for body image issues include psychotherapy and behavioral modification, in the context of inpatient support.

Sources: Girl’s Health.govOffice of Women’s Health (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services), National Eating Disorders Association