Tag Archives: Thinspiration

Macalester College study: Girls’ body image affected by older peers in middle school

24 Sep

The media presents an unrealistic image of perfection for women and girls. What they don’t disclose is for many of the “super” models their only job and requirement is the maintenance of their appearance. Their income depends on looks and what they are not able to enhance with plastic surgery and personal trainers, then that cellulite can be photoshopped or airbrushed away. That is the reality. Kid’s Health has some good information about Body Image http://kidshealth.org/teen/your_mind/body_image/body_image.html

Science Daily reported in the article, Middle school dilemma: Girls’ body image affected by older peers:

The media is highly criticized for contributing to body image issues in adolescents. However, a study published in Psychology of Women Quarterly finds a different source for body dissatisfaction among young girls: older girls at school.

A research team led by Jaine Strauss, Professor of Psychology at Macalester College, surveyed 1,536 5th through 8th-grade female students attending schools with different grade groupings. Some 5th and 6th graders attended school with older students (i.e. in districts that follow the “middle school” model) and others attended school with younger students (i.e. in districts where 7th and 8th graders attend a “junior high” apart from younger grades). The students completed three questionnaires asking about their eating habits, attitudes about appearance, and feelings of body consciousness.

The researchers, which also included a high school teacher and two high school students, found that female 5th and 6th graders who were educated alongside older girls reported a greater desire to be thin as well as less satisfaction with and more self-consciousness about their bodies. For example, 5th graders who attended school with 6th through 8th graders had a mean body dissatisfaction score that was 1.7 times higher than girls in the same grade who attended a typical elementary school.

“Elevated levels of body dissatisfaction, drive for thinness, thin-ideal internalization, body surveillance, and body shame may undermine young teens’ social, emotional, and academic well-being both during the early teen years and in later life,” the researchers commented. “Although body image tends to decline as girls move through adolescence, this study suggests that school grade groupings may influence the pace and timing of this decline….” http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/09/140918091424.htm

Citation:

Middle school dilemma: Girls’ body image affected by older peers
Date: September 18, 2014

Source: SAGE Publications
Summary:
The media is highly criticized for contributing to body image issues in adolescents. However, a study finds a different source for body dissatisfaction among young girls: older girls at school.

Contextualizing the “Student Body”
Is Exposure to Older Students Associated With Body Dissatisfaction in Female Early Adolescents?
1. Jaine Strauss1⇑
2. Jacklyn M. Sullivan2
3. Christine E. Sullivan2
4. Stephen J. Sullivan3
5. Chloe E. Wittenberg1
1. 1Department of Psychology, Macalester College, St. Paul, MN, USA
2. 2General Douglas MacArthur High School, Levittown, NY, USA
3. 3Lawrence High School, Cedarhurst, NY, USA
1. Jaine Strauss, Department of Psychology, Macalester College, 1600 Grand Avenue, St. Paul, MN 55105, USA. Email: strauss@macalester.edu
Abstract
Research on teens’ body dissatisfaction documents the role of proximal social influences (e.g., peers and family) and distal social influences (e.g., mass media) but largely ignores intermediate contextual factors such as school environment. Is there a link between individual body image and student body? We assessed drive for thinness, body dissatisfaction, thin-ideal internalization, and body objectification in an ethnically diverse sample of 1,536 female students educated in U.S. school districts varying in the degree to which younger students (fifth and sixth graders) are educated alongside older students (seventh and eighth graders). We studied three different grade groupings: junior high (Grades K–6 housed together/Grades 7–8 housed together), middle school (K–5/6–8), and extended middle school (K–4/5–8). As predicted, fifth and sixth graders attending schools with older students reported more negative body experiences than their age peers attending schools with younger students; similar effects were evident among seventh graders who had been educated with older peers during fifth and sixth grade. Our findings highlight the importance of considering contextual factors in understanding young women’s body image.
• body image
• adolescent development
• objectification
• school environment
• peer relations

There are no perfect people, no one has a perfect life and everyone makes mistakes. Unfortunately, children do not come with instruction manuals, which give specific instructions about how to relate to that particular child. Further, for many situations there is no one and only way to resolve a problem. The Child Development Institute has a good article about how to help your child develop healthy self esteem. http://childdevelopmentinfo.com/child-development/self-esteem/
Beautiful people come in all colors, shapes, and sizes. The key is to be healthy and to live a healthy lifestyle.

Resources:

Helping Girls With Body Image
http://www.webmd.com/beauty/style/helping-girls-with-body-image

Characteristics of Middle Grade Students
http://pubs.cde.ca.gov/tcsii/documentlibrary/characteristicsmg.aspx

Middle School Education – Developmental Characteristics http://www.davidson.k12.nc.us/education/components/scrapbook/default.php?sectiondetailid=16059

The Young Adolescent Learner
http://www.learner.org/workshops/middlewriting/images/pdf/W1ReadAdLearn.pdf

Traits & Characteristics of Middle School Learners
http://everydaylife.globalpost.com/traits-characteristics-middle-school-learners-17814.html

Association for Middle Level Education: AMLE http://www.amle.org/

Know your students: Nature of the middle school student
http://undsci.berkeley.edu/teaching/68_nature.php

NEA – Brain Development in Young Adolescents http://www.nea.org/tools/16653.htm

Emotional Development in Middle School | Education.com
http://www.education.com/reference/article/emotional-development-middle-school/

Related

Making time for family dinner
https://drwilda.com/2012/09/10/making-time-for-family-dinner/

Study: Girls as young as six think of themselves as sex objects
https://drwilda.com/2012/07/18/study-girls-as-young-as-six-think-of-themselves-as-sex-objects/

Social media spreads eating disorder ‘Thinspiration’
https://drwilda.com/2012/06/19/social-media-spreads-eating-disorder-thinspiration/

New emphasis on obesity: Possible unintended consequences, eating disorders https://drwilda.wordpress.com/2012/01/29/new-emphasis-on-obesity-possible-unintended-consequences-eating-disorders/

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Social media spreads eating disorder ‘Thinspiration’

19 Jun

In Children, body image, bullying, and eating disorders, moi said:

The media presents an unrealistic image of perfection for women and girls. What they don’t disclose is for many of the “super” models their only job and requirement is the maintenance of their appearance. Their income depends on looks and what they are not able to enhance with plastic surgery and personal trainers, then that cellulite can be photoshopped or airbrushed away. That is the reality. Kid’s Health has some good information about Body Image

Huffington Post is reporting in the article, Children Diet To Keep Off Pounds And Ward Off Bullying, Survey Says:

A recent survey of 1,500 of children between ages 7 and 18 revealed that young teens diet and worry about their weight.

About 44 percent of children between the ages of 11 and 13 say they’ve been bullied because of their weight, and more than 40 percent of kids younger than 10 admitted they were concerned about packing on the pounds, with nearly one-fourth reporting having been on a diet in the last year, according to the Press Association….

Last year, 13-year-old Nicolette Taylor resorted to plastic surgery to escape harassment and name-calling, particularly on social networking sites such as Facebook.

All my friends could see [my nose], all my new friends, and I didn’t want them saying things,” Taylor told Nightline about her decision to get a nose job. “Gossip goes around, and it really hurts.”

Other teens have felt suicide was their only way to escape daily scrutiny about their appearance or sexuality.

Although adolescents get picked on for a variety of reasons, weight is the top reason children are bullied at school, Yahoo! Shine reports.

And according to Rebecca Puhl, Director of Research at the Rudd Center for Food Policy at Yale University, a new ad campaign in Georgia is only “perpetua[ting] negative stereotypes.”

The ads, which aim to curb childhood obesity rates, feature photos of overweight children accompanied by text, such as “WARNING: It’s hard to be a little girl if you’re not.” http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/01/05/children-diet-bullying_n_1186422.html?ref=email_share

It is situations like this which cause unhealthy eating habits and disorders like anorexia and bulimia. Web MD has some excellent information about anorexia. https://drwilda.wordpress.com/2012/01/09/children-body-image-bullying-and-eating-disorders/

KING5 News reported the story,‘Thinspiration’ photo trend encouraging anorexia, bulimia http://www.king5.com/health/Thinspiration-encouraging-anorexia-bulimia–159510025.html Carolyn Gregoire wrote the Huffington Post article,THE HUNGER BLOGS: A Secret World Of Teenage ‘Thinspiration’:

“It’s a huge issue,” says Claire Mysko, an advisor to the National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA), who has seen a large increase in the number of pro-anorexia and pro-bulimia blogs since Tumblr exploded in popularity last year. “Young people who are prone to disordered eating are generally plagued with insecurity and feeling very isolated, so this world of pro-ana provides a community and a sense of belonging, and validates their experiences. But unfortunately, it does so in a way that promotes incredibly unhealthy and dangerous behavior.”

Search around on Tumblr, and you’ll find a variety of like-minded thinspo and “fitspo” blogs, absorbed with fashion photographs, food-diary entries, and quotes on willpower and beauty. Every word and image posted declares the user’s allegiance to an underweight ideal of beauty.

After launching in 2007, Tumblr has shown incredible growth — last year, the site generated roughly 15 billion pageviews and attracted 120 million unique visitors each month. What draws teens to Tumblr in the first place — the ease of sharing and finding bloggers with common interests, a parent-free environment (now that Facebook has become family friendly), and the diary-like feel of its blogs — also makes the site conducive to health and weight-loss blogs.

And where those blogs are prevalent, it’s likely that pro-anorexia and pro-bulimia pages that promote disordered eating will thrive, as well. The Tumblr platform is ideal for giving expression to both inspirational and aspirational content — their intimate and frequently anonymous nature make it comfortable for authors to post highly personal information alongside collages of fashion photographs, in an effort to inspire themselves and other girls who are desperate to shed pounds.

“Tumblr, unfortunately, is the perfect toxic expression of these [preoccupations],” says body-image expert Jess Weiner, author of A Very Hungry Girl and contributing editor for Seventeen Magazine.

Although thinspiration sites have been around nearly as long as the Internet itself — as far back as 2001, Yahoo! removed roughly 115 sites (pro-ana was the label used at that time) citing violations of the company’s terms of service — the depth and scope of Tumblr’s teen thinspo community seems unprecedented. Tumblr-based thinspo blogs are a sort of pro-ana 2.0, forgoing chat rooms and message boards in favor of eerily elegant images, sophisticated design, pop-culture references, private messaging, and street-style sensibility. The blogs are reflections of their creators. For millennial girls — uber-connected, style savvy, image-conscious, and concerned about uncertain economic futures — Tumblr offers an intimate, exclusive, and of-the-moment niche community of peers.

The pages are both personal memoirs and public bulletin boards. In one corner, you’ll see a “motivational” quote (“I came into 2012 fat but I’m going to leave it skinny,” which was ‘reblogged,’ or shared, more than 1,500 times), and in another, a photo of Victoria’s Secret model Miranda Kerr strutting down the catwalk. Melancholy song lyrics once reserved for the private corners of dog-eared notebooks (“Come on skinny love, what happened here? Come on skinny love, just last the year,” from Bon Iver’s 2008 indie anthem), share the turmoil of the teenage years with thousands of followers.

The poster girl for thinspo bloggers is Cassie, the starry-eyed, anorexic pill-popper of the British teen television drama Skins, whose image pops up all over the thinspo blogosphere. The models most frequently featured are Karlie Kloss and Kate Moss. An iconic black-and-white photograph of Kate in an oversized T-shirt that reads “I Beat Obesity” is a recurring theme, perfectly capturing the ethos of the thinspo community. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/02/08/thinspiration-blogs_n_1264459.html?utm_hp_ref=email_share

Beautiful people come in all colors, shapes, and sizes. The key is to be healthy and to live a healthy lifestyle.

Related:

Helping Girls With Body Image

New emphasis on obesity: Possible unintended consequences, eating disorders                   https://drwilda.wordpress.com/2012/01/29/new-emphasis-on-obesity-possible-unintended-consequences-eating-disorders/

“Thinspiration”: Social Media’s Dark Side http://www.nbcconnecticut.com/news/Thinspiration-Social-Medias-Dark-Side-152126335.html

Alarming trend: Kate and Pippa as ‘thinspiration’ http://today.msnbc.msn.com/id/43755965/ns/today-today_health/t/alarming-trend-kate-pippa-thinspiration/#.T-CjLJFPm-Z

Dr. Wilda says this about that ©