Body Image, Self-Esteem, and the Media

Body Image, Self-Esteem, and the Media

The relationship between media images of the ideal body and the self-esteem, body image, and susceptibility to eating disorders of today’s adolescents is an issue that has been heavily debated. Some people, for example, believe that fashion magazines featuring ultra-thin models cause teens to be more likely to develop poor body image, low self-esteem, and eating disorders, while others maintain that the causes of such problems are complex and cannot be attributed to photographs in magazines. Whatever the causes, experts agree that these issues are major concerns for many teens and for the professionals who work with them. As Dr. Sommers-Flanagan discusses in the video program, “Body Image and Self-Esteem in Adolescence,” anorexia, bulimia, and body dysmorphic disorder can threaten the long-term health and lives of adolescents. By empathizing with teens and being prepared to intervene when necessary, professionals can help teens break the cycle of destructive, unhealthy habits before they become life-long struggles. In this assignment, you will explore the relationships between media images and adolescent health, and consider how, as a professional, you might approach issues related to self-esteem, body image, and eating disorders with the young people with whom you work. Based on the Learning Resources and your own observations, write a 2- to 3-page paper OR create a 4- to 6-slide PowerPoint presentation that includes responses to the following questions. (Note: If you choose to create a .PPT presentation, you may use graphics, formatting, etc. as you see fit. However, in the “Notes” section, be sure to include text that indicates what you might say if you were delivering the presentation to a group of colleagues.)To what extent do you think media images affect the way teens feel about themselves—e.g. their self-esteem and body image? To what extent do you think it might make them more susceptible to eating disorders?Do you think that the media/entertainment industry has a responsibility to portray a variety of body types in ads, television shows, magazines, etc.? Why or why not?In what ways, if any, do you think body image, self-esteem, and/or eating habits might be a concern in your setting? As a professional in this setting, how might you address it? If you do not think you would, explain why.By Day 7 

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