"Looks don't matter; beauty is only skin-deep."" We hear these sayings everyday, and yet we live in a society that seems to contradict this very idea. If looks don't matter, then why does the media use airbrushing to hide any flaws that a person has? If looks don't matter, then why are there so many young women harming themselves because they are unhappy with the way they look? It's because society promotes a certain body image as being beautiful, and it's far cry from a woman's healthy size. The unrealistic standard of beauty that women are bombarded with everyday gives them a goal that is impossible to reach and the effects are devastating. Family, community, and the media play a huge role in creating body images. Sadly, there is a strong connection between body image and eating disorders. However, there are many steps that could be taken to improve one's body image.
Some major causes of body images are family, community, and the media. First off, let's start with family. According to a survey conducted by the Girl Scout Research Institute, 5 in 10 girls believe their family influences the way they feel about their bodies. At a young age, children need to be cuddled and nourished with care; negative body images is caused by a person feeling out of touch with one's own body (Dame, 1). Karla Fitzhugh, the author of Body Image stated that children will have bad thoughts about themselves and their own bodies if they grow up with parents who are dieting, have eating disorders, or speak about disliking their own bodies. People who were neglected or abused during their childhood are most likely to have negative body images (27). However, family can also promote healthy body images by doing many things like encouraging their children to have pride in their appearance without insisting that they have to look in a particular way. Set a good example for their children, inspire them by having good and modest behavior with appropriate attitude.