Your Body is Beautiful


Every decade the way society wants us to view our bodies changes.  From curvy to stick thin, the expectations for how we should look can be unreal. Now with the added pressures of social media, the demand for a perfection of our self-image has become extremely stressful.  

Approximately 91% of women are unhappy with their bodies and resort to dieting to achieve their ideal body shape. Unfortunately, only 5% of women naturally possess the body type often portrayed by Americans in the media.

In school, most students agree that the standards that have been set for our bodies are way too high. Taylor Hoff, an Air Academy sophomore says, “Media is too harsh on body image for boys and girls. They set unrealistic, unhealthy, and obsessive ideas about who we should be.”  It’s hard to focus on things like sports and academics when we have the added pressures of how we think our bodies should look.  

Body image is not just a struggle that girls deal with. Field published a study this year that found that nearly 18% of adolescent boys are concerned about their bodies and their weight. Among those boys, half wanted to gain more muscle and a third wanted to gain muscle and get thinner. We are convinced at a very young age that we must look a certain way in order to be happy, successful, or loved.  

The evolution of a beauty has also changed throughout the years. In the fifties, the ideal body size was a size 8, and now, girls don’t eat in order to fit into the size zero that is desired by society. “People spend too much time on social media comparing themselves to others, which makes you feel bad about your own body image. I wish more people knew how beautiful they were in their own unique way,” says Lilly Houghton, an Air Academy High School senior.  

A lot of the pressure put on a teenager’s body can come out the other side in a very negative way. Teen girls are more afraid of gaining weight than they are of cancer, nuclear war, or losing a parent. These irrational fears can result in possibly deadly eating disorders such as anorexia or bulimia.  

Additionally, dealing with the views of society is different now than from when our parents were teenagers. For teenagers today, it is easy to get anxiety from scrolling through an Instagram feed and feeling inadequate because we don’t look like the models on the screen. For our parents, it was about what they could do to be healthy.  In the 21st century alone, the amount of people suffering from eating disorders has increased by 34%. “I think social media has a huge impact on body image for teens. Pressure to look a certain way drives a lot of girls crazy and I don’t think it’s healthy. Teens don’t think about keeping up a healthy lifestyle anymore and just think about looking good for their followers, so they don’t try to maintain their bodies in healthy and natural way,” says Whitney Moran, a sophomore at Air Academy.

Our bodies are more than something to be displayed or something that should be sculpted by social media. No matter who you are, your body is not defined by others on a screen.