JRNL102 – What’s Hidden: Body Image

“I’ve had body image problems since I was younger. I’ve always struggled with the way I look.”.

Body image is an issue that has taken over a lot of adolescent boys and girls lives.
A lot of people suffering with body image problems, however, tend to hide the fact that they are struggling from those around them. Body image (the way someone recognises their body) is a result of low self-esteem, and can be affected by friends, family, and social media.

The teenage girl in this audio/video piece has experienced issues with body image since a young age and is now realising how much it is affecting her life – “Even shopping is proving to be a struggle. All shops only tend to have clothes for thin girls; and they don’t consider girls like me… I spend hours in a change room trying to fit into a pair of jeans that I can never fit into… I know I won’t be able to fit into them.”. She has struggled since primary school with body image problems, and they have since grown into much more. Her dislike of her body stems from the hatred she has about her weight; a hate so fierce that she struggles to leave the house in anything less than jeans and a baggy jumper – “It’s almost summer and I don’t even want to be seen outside in shorts and a tee-shirt… I don’t want to be seen in shorts, let alone a bikini at the beach.”. The girl’s mother says “I don’t like the way she thinks. She doesn’t see herself the way we all see her.”.
The girl’s opinions of herself and the way she looks has not only affected her own life, but her family members lives also. “She’s always been compared to her sister; and I think that’s where a lot of it [body image issues] stems from”, says the girl’s mother.

Filming the video for this piece proved to be a struggle as the interviewee felt uncomfortable with posing for the shots used. She felt uncomfortable with people being able to view all the skin she tries so desperately to hide; she says “It’s at the point where I’ll only wear shorts at home.”. Although she was strongly against the idea of having her body photographed, she agreed to go ahead and have the images taken in order to make others struggling with this same issue aware that they are not alone.

 

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