Studies find that young women who consume media with many images of an unrealistic “thin ideal” are more likely to exhibit symptoms of disordered eating.Furthermore, for celebrities that are as exploited for their physical bodies as often as the Kardashian family is, they are shirking an opportunity to reframe the narrative around healthy weight. Hence, teens are told that looking skinny defines your worth. This messaging is superficial, heartbreaking for many, and can be deadly for those who suffer with life-threatening eating disorders.
And it’s not just teen girls who are affected. Research shows that young men also experience body dissatisfaction and depression as a result of viewing media images. And this body dissatisfaction can lead to unhealthy, excessive exercising among male teens.
Positive Celebrity Influence on Teen Body Image
However, some celebrities influence the body-image discussion for the better. For example, the singer Lorde called out a Photoshopped image of herself on Twitter. She noted that one photo showed her with “perfect” skin while the other was real. “Remember, flaws are ok,” she tweeted.
Other celebrities and influencers, including Rihanna, Beyoncé, Priyanka Chopra and Sonam Kapoor have spoken out against the ideals of beauty promoted by the entertainment and fashion industries.
The best way to practice body positivity is to focus on the things you like about your body and to appreciate your own unique beauty. It’s also important to speak positively about yourself and your body, as well as to be mindful of the way you talk to and about other people. Lastly, remember that everyone deserves to feel beautiful and confident in their own skin, so be sure to include everyone in your body positivity journey.