The Importance of Body Image In today’s world, media is a regular part of everyday life. The pictures and data that we gloss over, however, may have more of an impact than many people give it credit for. The pressure to look a certain way and to achieve unattainable standards is as high as ever. Whether it be social media, photo-shopped imagery, magazines, or television, this society is more often than not confronted with a false standard of beauty. Studies show that around ninety-one percent of women are dieting to achieve a body shape that only five percent of women naturally possess. Approximately, fifty-eight percent of college aged women feel the need to be a certain weight.
But women aren’t the only ones feeling the pressure of low self-esteem and body image issues. Men are also victims of unhappiness stemming from the standards of perfection. Surveys show that twenty to forty percent of men struggle with these same issues. Whereas women strive to lose weight, men usually want to do the opposite. It’s not uncommon to see a man unsatisfied with his muscle tone, physical appearance, or overall weight. Because body image correlates so closely with self-esteem, it’s incredibly important that we learn to appreciate ourselves and what makes us unique. Other useful ways to boost your self-confidence is to associate with people who make you feel special, people you can be real around. Comparing oneself to others is a common, but unhealthy habit. By comparing ourselves to another person we diminish our own qualities. Highlighting our own beauty can make for a happier spirit as well.
-Lydia Cassel, Volunteer, Freshman High-school Student