Pressure to be thin comes from peers
The pressure for teens to look a certain way may start much closer to home than parents realize. According to a study published in the Journal of Youth and Adolescence, peer groups have a greater influence on teenage girls’ body image than the media.
For the study, researchers at Texas A & M International University asked 237 Hispanic girls between 10 and 17 years old about their favorite television shows and how attractive they thought the female characters in the show were. They also asked the girls about their own body image and if they felt inferior to other girls their age.
After six months, 101 of the girls were surveyed again and researchers found that peer competition and comparison determined if a girl developed an eating disorder much more often than media pressure. However, both peer competition and heavy social media use were linked to lower life satisfaction.