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Body Image in High School

Teens can have a hard time dealing with the changes and pressures that come with being in high school.

Their bodies are going through changes, their environment is dramatically different, they are expected to become more mature and take on more responsibility. During this transition time, they are at risk for starting to develop eating disorders, image related body dysphoria, mood disorders, and anxiety related to how they look. Helping them understand that body image is a social construct that changes over time depending on society’s values and the influence of media on the concept of body image are two important ways to discuss body image. Acceptance and tolerance of differences, not passing judgement on others based on how they look, and empathy are concepts that will continue to be a critical part of this conversation. Always discussing the importance of health and wellness as well as exercise can encourage the development and maintenance of a health body image. Owning your own body image concerns and making sure that they are not impacting your children’s ability to form their own ideals and values is also very important to prevent them from taking on your body image concerns.


What you can do:

  •         Address your body image concerns if there are any
  •         Model healthy living through values and decisions based on health and wellness
  •          Discuss the concept of body image and the social and media impact
  •         Provide resources to them on where to obtain healthy information
  •          Model and teach acceptance, tolerance, empathy, and self-esteem
  •           Help them develop values that are not based on how others look
  •           Talk to them about the changes that their bodies are going through

  • Identify if they are dealing with an eating disorder, mood disorder, body-image related dysphoria and find professional help
  •           They will have a healthy self-esteem
  •           They will treat others with acceptance, tolerance, respect, empathy and compassion
  •           They will not judge others based on how they look
  •           They can make decisions for health reasons
  •           They can identify their strengths and what they are good at
  •           They will experiment with different styles
  •           They will be involved with diverse groups of individuals
  •           They are able to model healthy choices


        “Your body is changing and will continue to do so for a while – how do you feel about what is going? Do you have any questions or concerns?”

“Teens sometimes develop intense feelings about how they look that can impact the decisions they make about what they eat, how they exercise, or what they wear? Does this happen to you or someone you know?”

          “If you start to change how you feel about yourself or how you are acting based on how you look, please come talk to me.”


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