How to Deal With Your Teens’ Body Obsession

Teenagers live by comparison. They endlessly judge themselves against the yardstick of their parents, their friends and the whole world. Tragically for them, the wider world has some pretty unfair tricks to play in this field. Many young people – and adults, too! – believe that there is such a thing as the Perfect Body. In women, this is slim, long-legged, tanned, and hairless with perfectly formed up-thrust breasts. In men, it is also slim, tanned and long-legged, but has a proper sprinkling of hair in the appropriate places. Since no young person sees this particular image in their mirror, they can become miserably convinced that not only are they falling short of the standard, but are positively handicapped. Despite the fact that they can see their bodies changing almost weekly, at any one time they are likely to despair that their undeveloped, half-finished form will stay that way for ever.

body Obsession

When they look at themselves in a mirror, it is as if all teenagers wore magnifying glasses. All young people notice and are concerned about them. For some, the concern is vague, faint and passes. For others it represents a major crisis. Teenage magnification enlarges any supposed defect until it fills the whole of the young person’s vision. They are sure that nobody can possibly look at them or know them without stopping dead at this ‘fault’. The size and shape of their body – their at, their genitals, their nose and ears, their body hair, their skin with its stretch marks, moles, scars, acne and birthmarks, their body odor – all are sources of worry. Teenagers may take constant and even extreme measures to change or keep under control any of these aspects. We all had these worries when we were young, but often forget their intensity, even when faced with a miserable youngster. It might surprise most parents to know that a substantial number of teenagers are so unhappy of themselves that they seriously consider a thigh lift Manhattan at some time point in their life.

According to one survey, three in five girls and a surprising e in five boys report having tried to lose weight. Puberty puts bulk on what might have been a spindly child’s body and, in a society obsessed with diet and weight gain, very few teenagers manage to see this padding for what it is – the natural filling out of a pre-adult outline. But along with this padding, some teenagers do acquire an amount of unnecessary weight. In seeking to spend as much time as possible with their friends, teenagers can get into the habit of missing out on balanced meals in the family home and snacking on ‘junk food’ – most of which is high in sugars and fats and which encourages weight gain. Parents, in response to their teenagers pulling away, may place heavy emphasis on the importance of a shared meal. Not only will you start insisting that they be there, but you may go to great lengths to capture their interest with food you know they like. Surprise, surprise, these too are likely to lean heavily on rich ingredients. Eating can become an area of conflict. Food is often a lot more than just fuel for the body. Food is a reward for good behavior. Food is an offering of love, and having it turned down is a keenly felt rejection. Food can even become a punishment.

Filed Under: Lifestyle & Personality


About the Author: Alan Kennon lives a very happy life with two kids and a lovely wife. He likes to share his life time experiences with others about how they can improve their lifestyle and personality.

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