Mirror Image

By , Amery, WI
Everyone at some point in time feels self-conscious about themselves. It’s normal to get that way from time to time. On some occasions there are teens and sometimes adults who all they can think about is how they look and how people see them. They can take it too far and pick up eating problems and sometimes they will take their own life. If there were more people that had confidence and liked themselves, then eating disorders, bulimia, and suicides would decrease.

The modern world makes people believe that they are supposed to have the perfect body. They have to be just the right weight and height, otherwise they won’t fit in. Women seem dependent on how they think they look; some will check the scales several times a day to see if they gained any weight. It’s hard to think positively about yourself when all you see is the perfect women in magazines.

Normally when you think of someone being self-conscious, you automatically think of a girl, but in reality, men worry about that kind of stuff, too. The thing guys are mostly worried about is being short. Guys want to meet the “tall, dark, and handsome” myth that every girl says they want. Actually in reality, many women don’t like muscular men, and prefer shorter men with a sensitive side.

Teenagers are constantly worrying about how they compare to and appear to their peers. Looks and appearance are a high priority for teenagers. They feel like they need to look like the people they see on T.V. They fall into a trap of believing that if they are not like these attractive stars, then they are not worth anything.

Suicidal attempts and impulses are much more common in teenagers who think they are too fat or too thin, even if they really don’t weigh very much. Researchers found that overall, overweight or underweight teens were only slightly more likely than normal weight teens to have suicidal tendencies. Teens that saw themselves at either weight extreme (really obese or really skinny) were more than twice as likely as a normal-weight teen to attempt or think about suicide.

A nationally representative survey in 2001 involving 13,601 students who were in 9th to 12th grade was asked about suicide. Nineteen percent said they had considered suicide in the previous year, and about 9% said they had attempted it. Sixty-five percent of the students were in the normal weight range, but only 54% thought of themselves as about the right weight. The other 11% said they weighted to much or not enough.

Suicidal thought was more likely even among students whose thoughts of body size deviated only slightly from about the right weight. A large proportion of students may be at an increased risk for suicide because nearly half of the students see themselves as too thin or too heavy.

A link between whites, blacks, and Hispanics are alike; people who are over weight, underweight, or just not happy with themselves, increased their risk for suicide attempts. Whites who are very over weight increased risks for suicide attempts. Black and Hispanic students who saw themselves as being very over weight were just as likely to attempt suicide as blacks and Hispanics who thought they were about the right weight.

Eating disorders and suicide are very serious problems that need to be taken care of. It’s not a rare problem, so even your friends could be thinking badly about themselves, and it could turn into something worse. Take the time to compliment someone if they look cute, or if they need someone to talk to, sit down and listen. Every little bit could help save a person’s life.





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