Self image: A never ending prison

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Imagine a world where no one cared about the appearance of themselves and that nothing pertaining to looks mattered. Unfortunately, self image takes over the thoughts of many teenagers and entraps their every thought.

Whether it is a positive or negative image of oneself, it can be a topic that never leaves someone’s mind. It can come from social media, others’ influence, body size, and even facial features. At Norwin High School, negative self image can leave a large impact on a teenager and the way they go through life. 

Answers from a recent poll show that 42 percent of students are impacted with self image because of body size the most.

According to an article from Kids Health, scientists have pointed out that “the people in our lives can affect how we feel about ourselves.”

Self image impacts the life of teenagers daily, and the people that surround us can also affect our self esteem. Other students can either make someone feel better about themselves, or sometimes worse. Teens mostly feel self-conscious of their bodies and the way they look because of society’s trends and how drastically changing they can be in a short amount of time.

 “There are still many images online that make teens – and anyone really – feel that they are not enough (not thin enough, pretty enough, physically fit enough, popular enough, rich enough, etc.),” Norwin Health teacher, Mrs. Mary Ellen Farragonio said.

Social media can leave a huge impact on one’s self image.

According to a recent poll taken by Norwin High School students, 74 percent say the  Tik Tok app causes the most self image negativity. Additionally, 72 percent of poll takers said Instagram also is a key factor in their self image.

In a recent poll, students selected that Instagram and Tik Tok are the most commonly used social media apps people tend to compare themselves on.

At times, social media can make people feel worse about themselves and make them question their own bodies and traits.

 “I’m a particularly confident person when it comes to how I view myself overall including personality but I certainly think that the more I go on social media and look at other girls that seem to have the most perfect features, I begin to feel bad about my looks as well,” said one female high school student in the poll.

Professionals and experts say now is the time to start to build the confidence to try and stop the spread of negative self image. Even though it might be hard, it is better to think with more positive and healthy thoughts.

According to Psychology Today, “By helping a young person develop healthy self-esteem, we support their inner strength and confidence and help them learn from their failures.”

High school students need to focus on refraining from complaining about what one does not have, to celebrating what you do have and embrace it.

 “If people would look at the big picture in life and be grateful for what they themselves are – their strengths, talents, uniqueness, and their potential,” Ferragonio said. “I think they would feel confidence in themselves and not be afraid to try and reach any goals they set for themselves in school, and in life itself.”

Many students at Norwin struggle with the overall same type of feelings so much that this topic has become normalized and understood in a way.

When asked to rank on if students compare themselves on a scale of 1-5 (5 compare a lot/ 1 compare little) about 22 percent ranked themselves as a 5, meaning they compare themselves to others everyday.

When asked on a scale from 1(the lowest) to 5(the highest) 22 percent of students answered with a 5.

Because of the normalization of the negative self image, teens should find new ways of encouraging themselves to feel positive and happy to be themselves.

 In order to have good self esteem, you have to realize that everyone is different and your flaws/imperfections are what make you unique from everyone else.”

— a student in a recent poll said

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There are many ways to change one’s self esteem, and the more people try to help teens be more confident, the better results will be.

 “Show children unconditional love, encouragement, and praise. Even when kids fail or misbehave, we can show compassion as we process the situation together,” researchers from Psychology Today said. “The younger we start helping the better, but it’s never too late to begin improving a young person’s self-esteem”

With the spread of kindness and positivity, teens can have a positive self image that they could find to be confident in themselves.

Finding the source of the problem and accepting it can help to find an end to the never ending prison, that is self image.