Social Media and Self-Esteem: Body Issues in Teens

Social media users subconsciously compare themselves to the filtered individuals behind their phone screens. As social media continuously grows, so does its impact on our mental health. Researchers suggest that social media engagement with those whom one perceives more attractive than themselves contributes to a more negative self-image.

As the number of Instagram models and fitness guru’s grow teens find themselves asking: “why don’t I look like that?” or “They are so much prettier than me.” For parents, it can be frustrating to watch your teen struggle with these self-image issues. However, it is unrealistic to shield them from the world and demand that they unplug from the social world all-together. Instead there are some methods that you can practice at home to build your teens sense of self-worth.

Raise Awareness About the Reality

The first, most important, step is talking to your teen about social media. Communicate with your child that social media can contribute to how they feel about themselves. They may not even realize this simple fact. Social media comparisons can cause greater issues such as: stringent dieting, eating disorders, or excessive exercise. The best way to prevent body perception issues related to social media is to teach your teen to have a consciousness of the impact that media can have on their thoughts.

The Plan to Promote Positive Body Image

Everything counts. Your teen looks to you for guidance and encouragement. As a way to prevent the body issues from escalating via social media consider these easy tips for teaching your teen positive body image:

    1. Be a good role model. You are your child’s main influencer. Teens learn from example. Set the example for your teen. Make an effort to eat healthy, refrain from negative body talk about yourself, don’t body shame other people, and be critical of the messages promoted by the media. Talk to your child and communicate with them that societies beauty ideals are narrow and often unrealistic.
    2. Build your teen’s confidence. Teach your teen healthy coping strategies. Avoid nicknames based on appearance. Encourage them to express their individuality, opinions, and emotions.
    3. Promote healthy living. We feel good about ourselves when we treat our body well. Encourage your teen to engage in regular exercise and fuel their body with healthy foods. Do activities as a family too.




Elevations Residential Treatment Center Can Help

Elevations Residential Treatment Center is dedicated to helping teens ages 13-17 who struggle with mental health issues. The program offers an intensive, highly professional, therapeutic program that uses an interdisciplinary approach. College preparatory academics, therapeutic recreation activities, and individual, family and group psychotherapy are also offered at this facility. Elevations gives students the skills and confidence they need to transition to the real world and lead healthy, happy lives. We can help your family today!

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