The Reality About Girls, Body Image

The Reality About Girls, Body Image

Kiki Gilkey, Reporter

It’s no secret that women are some of the most insecure creatures on this earth. You say one negative thing about our body and it will stick with us for the rest of our lives. We will go to extreme measures to fix our stomachs, legs, or even our breasts, all because one person decided to make a negative comment to make us feel bad about ourselves.

Twenty years ago, models weighed eight percent less than the average woman. Today, they weigh 23 percent less than the average woman.

The average American woman is 5-foot-4 and weighs 140 pounds. The average American model is 5-foot-11 and weighs 117 pounds…..or less.

If Barbie was a real woman, she’d have to walk on all fours due to her proportions.

One out of every four college women have an eating disorder.

It is estimated that 40 to 50 percent of American women are trying to lose weight at any point in time.
Americans spend more than $40 billion a year on dieting and diet-related products – that’s roughly equivalent to the amount the U.S. Federal Government spends on education each year!

In 2007, there were around 11.7 million cosmetic procedures performed in the U.S. Ninety-one percent of these were performed on women.

A study found that 53% of thirteen-year-old American girls are unhappy with their bodies. This number grows to 78% by the time girls reach seventeen.

According to the Girl Scouts Research Institute, one-third of all girls have a distorted idea about their weight.

The thin ideal is unbelievable for most women and is likely to lead to feelings of self-devaluation, dysphoria (depression), and helplessness.

Among African-American and Caucasian adolescent girls, self-objectification is a significant predictor of depression, body shame, and disordered eating, even when controlling for race, grade in school, and body-mass index.

Studies also show that self-objectification is associated with negative mental-health outcomes in adolescent girls. In early adolescence, girls who had a more objectified relationship with their bodies were more likely to experience depression and had lower self-esteem.

The fact that someone is dieting increases the risk that she or he will overeat or binge to counteract the effects of calorie deprivation. Dieting encourages a shift from a reliance on physiological reasons for eating (feelings of hunger) to psychological control over eating behaviors (a person’s feeling that he or she shouldn’t eat so much, for example). Lowered body satisfaction, appearance satisfaction, and pressure to be thin all increase with an increase in binge eating.

Almost half of all women smokers smoke because they see it as the best way to control their weight. Of these women, 25% will die of a disease caused by smoking.

Fifty-two percent of teenagers ate less food, fewer calories, or foods low in fat to lose weight or keep from gaining weight, while 65.7 percent exercised to lose weight.

Adolescent girls who engaged in extreme weight-loss behaviors (vomiting and using laxatives or diet pills) were significantly less likely to eat fruits and vegetables compared with non-dieters and dieters using more healthful approaches.

Dieting may compromise healthy growth and cause nutrient deficiencies. Adolescent girls most often diet to improve their appearance, and although this behavior is widespread, teenagers continue to be more overweight than ever before.

Eating disorders are 18 times more likely to develop in adolescent girls who diet at severe levels, than in those who do not diet at all.

Constant dieting and the relentless pursuit of thinness has become a normative (thought to be normal) behavior among women in Western society.

Thinness has not only come to represent attractiveness, but also has come to symbolize success, self-control, and higher socioeconomic status.

All I’m saying is, think before you decide to insult that girl who happens to be what you think is bigger than the “normal” size. She already has enough pressure on her from society and her peers. Don’t be that person that that causes her to reach her breaking point.

For more information on eating disorders and body image, please visit the following websites: