Proud2Bme | Yahoo! Survey Shows That 94% of Teen Girls Have Experienced Body Shame

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Yahoo! Survey Shows That 94% of Teen Girls Have Experienced Body Shame

By Michelle Zaydlin--While body positivity has flooded social media, encouraging people to accept their bodies and love themselves for who they are, most people are far from having achieved a state of acceptance and body satisfaction. A recent survey conducted by Yahoo! Health underscored just how far we are from achieving positive body image in society at large.

The online survey examined a representative national sample of 2,000 individuals between the ages of 13 and 64. While the majority of American males showed either body positivity or were body neutral (okay with their bodies), the same results were not seen for females. Across age groups, the majority of females reported body dissatisfaction or a “love/hate relationship” with their bodies. 

Yahoo! News also reported “it takes women half their lives to achieve half the level of body self esteem as the average teenage male.” That is, around 13% of females reach a state of body positivity between the ages of 35 and 54, which is equal to the percentage of teenage males who reported feeling body positivity. Additionally, the study discovered that 94% of teen females and 64% of teen males have experienced body shame.

While these results are shocking, they are also consistent with the status quo and the societal pressure that both males and females experience regarding body image. Society, media and individuals place significant emphasis on the body, in particular targeting the female body, leading to increased body dissatisfaction among women. Commentary and pressure about the male body exists, but—consistent with the results of the survey—it appears that this pressure is less severe, but nonetheless plays a role in body shaming and dissatisfaction among both males and females.

These survey results are crucial as we continue to take action to create a healthy and body-positive lifestyle—not only for ourselves, but for society and those around us. One step at a time, we can continue to make a difference by increasing acceptance and encouraging positive body image.

For more on developing positive body image, see Losing the 3Ds: Dieting, Drive for Thinness and Body Dissatisfaction.

About the blogger: Michelle Zaydlin is currently a senior at the University of Michigan and will be graduating this May with a B.S. in neuroscience and Spanish. She is currently involved with NEDA as a coordinator of the second annual Ann Arbor, MI NEDA Walk and is a member of Dance Marathon, which helps support pediatric rehabilitation therapies at local children’s hospitals. She also works as a physics study group leader through the science learning center at the University of Michigan and as a behavior technician doing applied behavior analysis (ABA) with children on the autism spectrum.

Also by Michelle:

Writing for Recovery: An Interview with Author Neesha Arter

7 Body-Positive Life Lessons from a Child

Bringing Male Eating Disorders to Light

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