The ‘perfect image’ is portrayed horribly wrong across social media, television and magazines. Young girls who are exposed to this, have the wrong perception of what ‘perfect’ is and begin questioning themselves, “why don’t I look like that?”. According to Childline, almost 2,000 body image counselling sessions were delivered to girls.
Celebrities across the world are known to look like a certain way and get criticised in the tabloids for what they wear, what they look like or the way they act. This encourages them to become a certain way in front of the media to prevent any backlash of criticism. However, this façade only promotes the wrong image to young girls, as girls start to get confused between perfection and reality. Young girls and even boys, struggle to understand that what they see on tv and on social media is not real and cant see the amount of work that has been done on that person or photo for it to look like that. Young people begin to feel pressured to look a certain way because of what they have seen on the latest reality program or Instagram. Little do they know, the amount of time, photoshop and filters that have gone onto that one photo to make it look ‘perfect’. As a result, children who feel pressured to be or look a certain way, lose their uniqueness and what makes them different. They become less comfortable in their own skin and lose complete confidence.
According to the Childline, a young 12-year-old girl said she didn’t want to talk to people because of the way she looked.
“I’m feeling really sad and I don’t like myself.
“I keep comparing myself to pictures of people in magazines and people on TV and I wish I looked like them.”
As parents and carers with young girls and boys, it is important to make them feel beautiful in their own skin. Encourage their uniqueness and emphasise that everyone is different in their own way.
Social media, television and magazines are hard to avoid especially with teenagers in the house, but help them become aware that the ‘perfect image’ does not exist. Childhood needs to be carefree. It is the time for children to recognise who they are and develop their unique attributes that make them who they are and their own personality.