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The Cruelty of Unrealistic Teen Beauty Standards

The consequences of the media’s unrealistic beauty standards on teenage girls are alarming. Dr. Jake Linardon, founder of Break Binge Eating and an editorial board member for the International Journal of Eating Disorders, gives a few statistics:

  • Half of young 13-year-old American girls reported being unhappy with their body. This number increased to nearly 80% by the time girls reached 17.
  • 0% of young teen girls report fears of becoming fat.
  • Body image was listed in the top four worries for young women.
  • Nearly half of young girls aged between 13-17 reported a desire to be as thin as the models they viewed in fashion magazines and reported that these magazines gave them the ideal body to strive for.
  • Simply viewing a Barbie doll has been shown to reduce self-esteem and increase a desire to be skinny in girls five to eight years old.
  • Girls who frequently read glamour magazines related to weight loss are six times more likely to engage in extreme unhealthy weight control behaviors (e.g., taking diet pills, using laxatives, vomiting) than girls who do not read such magazines.

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