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Contents 04 foreword 05 the situation 11 causes 12 barbie 16 diva-ization 20 media 24 friends & family 28 consequences 31 mend 38 13 things 43 acknowledgments

Foreword This book is both an exploration and a source of inspiration about the image issues teenage girls face. It is obvious that every single girl in this present moment has had to deal with self-esteem issues, or are still struggling with them. It is never a pleasant experience dealing with these issues because they will have to handle the constant loathing that they harbour against their bodies and themselves. In some ways, this book is here to help them, or help you, both to understand the causes and also see how you can work your way towards building yourself up again. All this hatred will destroy you. But only if you let it. This is also an opportunity for you to help yourself. Progress only exists with the first step. Then another. It’s not that hard.


I thin face is k my My jaw my noseisistoo angular, my


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for anyonee beautiful enough to

notice. DA



e Ir m i t y Ever mirro


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,1 5

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I don’t like the way I look... I don’t like

about me.

HING ANYT t feel like dying. I just I jus

feel like escaping

realityso no one can see me.



than boys, schoolwork, family and friends, teenage girls now have self-esteem issues to deal with. These thoughts pervade their minds every single day. Every time they see someone who is seemingly prettier, their whole world crumbles. Beautiful women are everywhere, they think, so does that mean I am the ugliest of them all? These thoughts spiral downwards and create a huge hole in the souls of these girls. Instead of being happy, they are downcast most of the time, they cry over their idea of inadequacies, they may even turn suicidal because reality seems too much to bear.


Did you know?


of adolescent girls feel negatively about their body shape/size.



of teenage girls know of someone with an eating disorder.


of young women worry a lot about how they look.


Only of women think their size is too small.


The most common self-esteem issues girls face in this day and age are body image issues. Body image is the dynamic perception of one’s body – how it looks, feels and moves. It is shaped by perception, emotions, physical sensations and is not static, but can change in relation to mood, physical experience and environment.

Body image is influenced strongly by self-esteem and self-evaluation, more so than by external evaluation by others. It can, however, be powerfully influenced and affected by cultural messages and societal standards of appearance and attractiveness. Given the overwhelming prevalence of thin and lean female images and the overall obsession with beauty common to westernized societies, body image concerns have become widespread among adolescents.




even 6- to 13-year-olds show evidence of body dissatisfaction, with all age groups wanting to be thinner. This general “antifat” attitude is particularly pronounced in girls, who show a higher level of body dissatisfaction and a stronger desire to be thinner, which increases with age. A recent study concluded that girls’ desire for thinness emerges around age 6. The thin beauty ideal for girls, is of course present in many aspects of their sociocultural environment (i.e. advertising, TV and friendship cliques), but dolls like Barbie—because of their iconic status—are likely to act as salient role models, at least for very young girls. For young children, fantasy and play are vital parts of socialization in which they internalize ideals and values. Dolls provide a tangible image of the body that can be internalized as part of the child’s developing self-concept and body image. Barbie is the best-selling fashion doll in every major global market, with worldwide annual sales of about $1.5 billion. This popular doll, launched 52 years ago, is very much present in every young girl’s life, with 3- to 10-year-olds in the United States owning eight Barbie dolls on average, and only 1% not owning any. 13

Dolls like Barbie can serve as an imaginary point of view from which to see one’s own bodily self, through which young girls come to understand the meaning of beauty and perfection by pretending to be their dolls. All girls who play with Barbies report to have periods of intensive identification when they were very young, and Barbie’s role as an inspirational role model was highlighted. “She is like the perfect person when you are little that everyone wants to be like.”

However, no one realizes that Barbie is so exceptionally thin that her weight and body proportions are not only unattainable but also unhealthy. Were Barbie a flesh-and-blood woman, her waist would be 39% smaller than that of an anorexic person, and her body weight would be so low that she would not be able to menstruate. Her neck would be too long and thin to support the weight of her head, and her upper body proportions would make it difficult for her to walk upright. A study was done and results showed that exposure to Barbie dolls causes an increase in girls’ body dissatisfaction and that this negative effect is specific to Barbie and not observed after exposure to dolls with a body size that resembles the average U.S. woman. The damage has already been done if it is the case that Barbie is a highly significant, if not only, vehicle through which very young girls internalize an unhealthily thin ideal. Moreover, it also seems like they move on from Barbie dolls to other sociocultural sources of ideal body information such as magazines or computer games. For example, in the immensely successful Tomb Raider series played by older children, Lara Croft’s body proportions are similar to Barbie’s.



a scene in “Toddlers & Tiaras,” the TLC reality series, where 2 year old Marleigh is perched in front of a mirror, smothering her face with blush and lipstick. She giggles as her mother attempts to hold the squealing toddler still, lathering her legs with self-tanner. “Marleigh loves to get a tan,” her mom says, as the girl presses her face against the mirror. Marleigh is one of the many pageant girls on the show, egged on by obsessive mothers who train their tots to strut and swagger, flip their hair and pout their lips. This may seem freakish but Marleigh and the other girls in the show


aren’t any different from average girls across the world. A spa in Brooklyn brands itself for 0-12 year olds, full of tweens getting facialed and glossed, hands and feet outstretched for manis and pedis. “The girls just love it,” says Daria Einhorn, the 21-year-old spa owner, who was inspired by watching her 5-year-old niece play with toy beauty kits. Sounds extreme? Maybe. But this is the new norm: a generation that primps and dyes and pulls and shapes, younger and with more vigour. Girls today are salon vets before they enter elementary school. Forget having mom trim your bangs, fourth graders are in the market for lush $50 haircuts; by the time they

hit high school, $150 highlights are standard. Five-year-olds have spa days and pedicure parties. And instead of shaving their legs the old-fashioned way—with a 99-cent drugstore razor—teens get laser hair removal, the most common cosmetic procedure of that age group. If these trends continue, by the time a tween hits the Botox years, she’ll have spent thousands on beauty treatments once reserved for the “Beverly Hills, 90210” set. Reared on reality TV and celebrity makeovers, girls as young as Marleigh are using beauty products earlier, spending more and still feeling worse about themselves. Four years ago, a survey by the NPD Group showed that, on


average, women begin using beauty products at 17. Today, the average is 13—and that’s got to be an overstatement. According to marketresearch firm Experian, 43% of 6- to 9-year-olds are already using lipstick or lip gloss; 38% use hairstyling products; and 12% use other cosmetics. And the level of interest is making the girls of “Toddlers & Tiaras” look ordinary. “My daughter is 8, and she’s like, so into this stuff it’s unbelievable,” says Anna Solomon, a Brooklyn social worker. Much has been made of the oversexualization of today’s tweens. But what hasn’t been discussed is what we might call their “diva-ization”— before they even hit the tween years. According to a NEWSWEEK examination of the most common beauty trends, by the time a girl is 50, she would have spent nearly $300 000 on just her hair and face. It’s not that women haven’t always been slaves to their appearance; as Yeats wrote, “To be born woman is to know … that we must labour to be beautiful.” But today’s girls are getting caught up in the beauty maintenance game at ages they should be learning how to read—and long before their beauty needs enhancing. Twenty years ago, a second grader might have played clumsily with her mother’s lipstick, but she probably didn’t insist on carrying her own lip gloss to school. Why are this generation’s standards different? To start, this is a group that’s grown up on pop culture that screams, again and again, that everything, everything, is a candidate for upgrading. These girls are maturing at an age when older women are taking ever more extreme measures, from Botox to liposuction. They’ve watched bodies transformed on “Extreme Makeover”; faces taken apart and pieced back together on “I Want a Famous Face.” They compare themselves to the overly airbrushed models in celebrity and women’s magazines, and learn about makeup from girls of “Toddlers & Tiaras”. And while we might make fun of the spoiled teens on MTV’s “ My Super Sweet 16”, these shows raise the bar for what’s considered over the top. And in turn, raising the expectations that young girls impose on themselves.

A combination

of new technology and the Web, is responsible—at least in part— for this transformation in attitudes. Ads for the latest fashion, makeup tips and grooming products are circulated with a speed and fury unique to this millennium—on millions of ads, message boards and Facebook pages. Digital cameras come complete with retouching options, and anyone can learn how to use Photoshop to blend and tighten and make one thinner. It’s been estimated that girls 11 to 14 are subjected to some 500 advertisements a day—the majority of them nipped, tucked and airbrushed to perfection. And, according to a University of Minnesota study, staring at those airbrushed images from just one to three minutes can have a negative impact on girls’ self-esteem. “None of this existed when I was growing up, and now it’s just like, in your face,” says Solomon, 30. “Kids aren’t exempt just because they’re young.”


Strong social and cultural forces influence body image in young people. From childhood to adulthood, television, billboards, movies, music videos, video games, computer games, toys, the Internet, and magazines convey images of ideal attractiveness, beauty, shape, size, strength and weight. Ever since the dawn of media, women have been influenced by the way they were portrayed. Advertisements have been telling women for decades that there is room for improvement in their appearances, that women are not to be happy with themselves “as is�. The ideal woman of today is much different from the women from the early 1990s. There was once a time when the average woman was portrayed in the media. It is difficult to escape or ignore the images with which the media bombards women in today’s society. There is no doubt that the most important and powerful mode of influence on women comes from the media. Whether it


be on the cover of a magazine, in a movie, on TV, or in an advertisement, images of the “perfect” or “ideal woman” are everywhere. And when all of these images of women are of the “skinny ideal” the effects on women viewing these images can be catastrophic. Celebrities, models, and advertisements all greatly influence the way we see ourselves, so if women see other women in entertainment who are ‘happy’, famous, beautiful and sexy, they will want to emulate them. Who wouldn’t want to be all of that? But when we as females try to emulate the women we see and think we are supposed to be, we soon realize that it is nearly impossible to attain that body. Many women then begin to develop low self esteem and behavioural problems towards eating and exercising, simply because of how the “ideal” portrayal is so unrealistic.


A recent

study on the link between weight status and self-concept among 5- to 7-year-old girls demonstrated that higher weight was related to lower body esteem and a more negative self-concept but these links were mediated by social influences: friends and parent criticism. Increasing parental pressure was captured in a recent article on the fear of childhood obesity, leading parents to such extreme measures such as putting babies on diets or hiring personal trainers for 5-year-olds. This emphasizes not only the importance of social pressures of thinness but also negative attitudes towards weight.


Friends may also influence one’s low self esteem and body dissatisfaction. The world of most teenage girls revolves around their friends. Within these friendship groups, girls express their attitudes and listen to those of their peers. These groups are a vital part of the social world of most teenage girls. Groups high on body dissatisfaction and dieting had lower self-esteem, are more likely to talk about weight and dieting, value thinness more highly, feel more influenced by others to diet and make comparisons regarding their own body with that of others. Therefore, friendship groups may also provide an environment, or sub-culture, in which being thin is highly valued.

Familial concerns and pressures may also contribute to increased body dissatisfaction and body image concerns. Socialization encourages females to make their bodies look beautiful. Parents tend to become less positive and more critical regarding their children’s appearance, eating and physical activity as they move into and through adolescence. Adolescents receive the most criticism regarding their physical appearance and the most efforts to change their appearance. Parental over-concern with children being thin or encouragement to avoid being fat can influence young people to become constant dieters and use unhealthy weight control methods. Mother of today’s teenagers grew up in a weight conscious world and the value placed on thinness by parents may be reflected in their communications with their daughters. Teenage girls are more likely to be dieting if their parents are dieting or encouraging their daughters to diet.



in the media have had a significant impact (and too often it is an adverse one) on many women around the world. The primary focus of ads featuring the “ideal” woman is females between the ages of 13 and 29. The success of this focus can be measured by the fact that this group is also the one that has been the most adversely affected. With so many of these unrealistic women being portrayed by the media, an epidemic has developed in which women are slowly killing themselves through problems such as low self-esteem, manic exercise, and even starvation. Anorexia and bulimia are two of the more serious side effects that have emerged. The majority of the women targeted are in a college setting and are prone to “molding” themselves into what society wants them to be. The most common eating disorders on college campuses are anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa. College students worry about maintaining good grades, getting good jobs after graduation and fitting in. With the dual concerns of trying to fit in and be healthy, these disorders often set in. Spurred on by the fear of gaining weight in college, women may start to over-exercise and skip meals, not realizing that they are well on their way to developing eating disorders.

Overconcern with body image and shape can lead to restrictive dieting and unhealthy weight control methods which may lead to potentially dangerous disordered eating behaviours. Societal reinforcement of body image conern, in the form of a multibillion-dollar diet and weight loss industry, aids in maintenance of body dissatisfaction and the elusive search for the perfect body. Societal promotion of the thin ideal may also lead to prejudicial treatment of overweight individuals or teasing based on weight and shape, especially among youth.



Kelly Clarkson, a pop star proud in her own skin Danielle Travali, 25, was listening to Kelly Clarkson’s new album, “Stronger.” Ms. Travali has fought her brigade of demons and then some, describing herself as an eating-disorders survivor. “I am not a schmaltzy type,” said Ms. Travali, who edits an online women’s magazine in Fairfield, Conn., during a phone interview. But as Ms. Clarkson sang “The War Is Over,” she said, “tears were rolling down my face. As someone who has struggled with low selfesteem and body image, I have such a strong appreciation for powerful women who sing their truth. Kelly’s songs are not just about failed relationships with others, but failed relationships with ourselves. Boom! I’m learning here: What did I do to hurt me?” For a decade, Ms. Clarkson has been belting power-pop hits like “I Do Not Hook Up” and “Since U Been Gone,” and dismissing withering criticism of her weight. As a result, her fans have built a distinctive relationship with her: less

that of conventional adulation than of identification and admiration. “You get a sense that she’s one of us,” Ms. Travali said. That connection has been reinforced by “Stronger,” released last week, which the singer describes as her own journey of empowerment, addressed directly to fans. On one song, “You Can’t Win,” Ms. Clarkson, 29, sings, “If you’re thin/ Poor little walking disease/If you’re not/ They’re all screaming obese/If you’re straight/Why aren’t you married yet?/ If you’re gay/Why aren’t you waving a flag?” The bond was apparent Thursday, at a Manhattan taping of “VH1 Unplugged: Kelly Clarkson,” which has its premiere Nov. 18. Ms. Clarkson’s appeal reached across generations of women. Linda Scott, 52, who traveled with her husband from Shubenacadie, Nova Scotia, said that her daughter, 24, was also a passionate fan. Celebrating joint


birthdays at the taping were Jolie Rosen, 14, and her mother, Cynthia Kroning (who gave her age as “old enough to be her mother”) of Norwood, N.J. “Kelly’s not afraid to discuss anything,” said Mrs. Kroning, a fan by dint of driving teenage girls around with the car radio blasting. Referring to a cut on “Stronger,” she added, “ ‘What Doesn’t Kill You (Stronger),’ should be an anthem.” At the taping, Ms. Clarkson’s genial unflappability came across from the getgo. Finishing a bluesy cover of Carrie Underwood’s “I Know You Won’t,” she glanced down at her red body-hugging sheath dress. She laughed and tugged at the top. “Oh, my God!” Had she been spilling out of her dress the whole time? she asked. That poise has gotten her through years of sometimes-harsh jabs. On the video for her first single, “Mr. Know It All,” Ms. Clarkson looks skeptically at a wall papered with news clippings that

have sniped at her weight, challenged her sexuality and ridiculed her rebellion against music-label executives. Then she tears an opening through her paper wall of shame and jauntily steps into a sunsoaked landscape.

her video for “You Belong With Me” — “but she’s tall and blond, the girl that the girl next door wants to be. But with Kelly, you sense that she really is the girl next door. She acknowledges more complexity than most stars talk about.

At the taping, she stepped into a powerful “Mr. Know It All,” mother-anddaughter fans bobbing and lip-syncing. Afterward, Ms. Clarkson shook her head, abashed.

“For any woman to not only own her body size at an average woman’s weight is amazing, let alone to own weight gain without shaming and stigmatizing it publicly. It’s a difficult line to walk because Kelly’s private. She doesn’t want to be known as the fat activist pop star. That’s not her mantle.”

“I flubbed the lyrics, damn it,” she said. “And I knew it when I was doing it, too. So why didn’t I just stop? It’s just like my relationships!”

While waiting for another stage setup, Ms. Clarkson shimmied in her red dress. The makeup people dabbed at her face. “Spanx!” she shouted merrily, pulling As they turned away, Ms. Clarkson wiped back the celebrity Wizard of Oz curtain. her lips, mouthing to the audience, “Too “For all you ladies out there, let me tell much!” you: it sucks it right in. You feel like a packed sausage. I feel like I have two In an interview, Courtney E. Martin, pairs on.” author of “Perfect Girls, Starving Daughters,” said, “There’s so much talk No question that the girl next door has about Taylor Swift being the girl next great pipes, but for all Ms. Clarkson’s door” — the role played by the singer in approachable charm, she wears steely


armor. To promote her music, Ms. Clarkson will chatter amiably to any microphone (though she declined several interview requests for this article), but she keeps her private life private. She lives off the paparazzi grid, both in Nashville and on a ranch in Texas, where her animal-rescue shelter includes 10 horses; innumerable dogs, cats, donkeys and goats, and a llama. She has said she has 12 tattoos (including one behind each ear), owns nine guns (and sleeps with a Colt .45), and will drink Chivas and sing karaoke to Guns N’ Roses songs. “Female pop stars like Beyoncé, Rihanna, Taylor Swift, Demi Lovato and Selena Gomez all come out of the relationship factory,” dating other celebrities, said Ann Powers, a critic for NPR Music. “But Kelly has stood outside of that. She is not trying to sell herself on the red carpet.” Her public persona, Ms. Powers added, “has always been the sadder but wiser girl, which has to do with her voice: a dusky alto that veers toward R&B but


has a rock edge. That has allowed her to develop a persona of defiance, independence, of seasoned experience. And her actual biography mirrors that.” Ms. Clarkson has spoken of having grown a thick skin by age 6, when her parents divorced. Her early years in Burleson, Tex., were hardscrabble. She couldn’t wait to see small-town Texas in her rearview mirror. After graduating from high school in 2000, she worked a string of jobs to afford to get to Los Angeles, to distribute copies of her demo tape. But after more dead-end jobs in Los Angeles and occasional work as a television extra, Ms. Clarkson saw her gambit go up in flames, literally, when her apartment caught fire. She lived in her car and, in 2002, slinked home to Texas. And that’s where she heard about auditions in Dallas for a new music contestant television show, “American Idol.” Since becoming the show’s first winner, Ms. Clarkson has sold more than 20

million copies of her four studio albums and has won two Grammys. As she hits her promotional whirlwind for “Stronger,” it’s clear that Ms. Clarkson has learned to respond deftly to interviewers’ underthe-microscope questions.

said, “Here is someone who was manufactured by the music industry, by ‘American Idol,’ and it’s ironic that she has emerged as one of our most authentic artists.”

She smiled and immediately replied to one, “No, I have not! Nothing! Everywhere I go, people say that, but nope!”

Ms. Clarkson is always asked whether she has a boyfriend, with some interviewers directly inquiring if she is a lesbian. Inevitably, she guffaws. “I have a big gay following,” she told an Australian interviewer recently. “If I were gay, I’d probably have more luck.” Women, she added, are far less intimidated by her than men.

She refers airily to her small breasts, “I’m sporting a flat now, same as since seventh grade.” Conversely, she told a Canadian interviewer that, unlike singers who can dance, like Lady Gaga, Katy Perry and Beyoncé, “I keep my pants on because let’s face it: we would scare people,” describing her posterior as “big” and “giant.” She burst out laughing. “That would be a big moon!”

Donnette Noel, an adviser to the Dressing Room Project, a girls’ bodyimage campaign, has been following Ms. Clarkson since her “American Idol” debut. “She was this down-home girl, so sweet and down to earth,” Ms. Noel, 24, said. “You’d expect her to change. But she hasn’t. Her weight fluctuates, and she’s O.K. with that. She became a role model without even trying.”

Last month in Australia, talk show hosts eyed her, repeatedly asking whether she had lost weight.

Ms. Powers, the NPR Music critic,


13 THINGS TO DO: 1. MAKE A LIST OF WOMEN YOU ADMIRE How often is the women’s appearance a reason that you admire her? What do you think are the most important attributes a woman can have? What would you like someone to admire most about you? In herself? Does our culture seem to admire the same things in women that you do? 2. QUESTION THE MOTIVES OF THE FASHION INDUSTRY Always remember the main objective of the fashion, cosmetic, diet, fitness, and plastic surgery industries is to make money, not make you the best person you can possibly be. The ultra thin ideal is working for them. But is it working for you? If every season your parent or partner told you to change who you are or how you dress wouldn’t you question their motives? 3. STOP WEIGHING YOURSELF Remember that the emphasis to be thin and beautiful is everpresent in our society. Cut yourself some slack. Imagine spending a day, or a week, without the scale measuring your self-esteem. Does the scale tell you that you aren’t disciplined enough? That you aren’t working hard enough? Get rid of it. The emphasis on thin is new and arbritary. And it can be reversed. 4. CONCENTRATE ON THE THINGS YOU DO WELL Do you look in the mirror one day and think you look great and the next day think you look awful? Your body isn’t changing, your perception of it is. It is true that if you’re feeling good about other things in your life, you’ll be less critical of how you look. Do you things you do well. And if you’ve had a bad day, stay away from the mirror. When a woman is happy and confident, she may not have a perfect body, but she doesn’t give a damn. 38

5. GET PHYSICAL FOR FUN. Your body needs exercise and real foods. Take walks, dance in your living room, garden, golf… try to get moving for your heart, not to decrease the size of your bottom. You may lose weight and you may not, but your body will be stronger, your stress will be lower and you’ll feel better. 6. BREAK THE BARRIERS. Author Sara Tisdale wrote, “We must all choose between battles: One battle is against the cultural ideal, and the other is against ourselves.” Must we always define ourselves by what popular culture dictates? Develop your own style. Have fun—wear lipstick. Or don’t. You’re the boss of you. By speaking out and accepting yourself (dimples and all), you help break the barriers. 7. EXPERIMENT WITH YOUR WEIGHT and what feels comfortable to you, rather than trying to primarily be thin. Find your ‘set point’, a weight where your body feels comfortable and will fight to remain. Accept weight variations through your life. 8. EXPERIENCE YOUR BODY AS A WHOLE. Most of us judge each of our body parts individually—my thighs are too fat, my arms are too flabby, my lips too thick. Try experiencing your body as a whole, rather than as separate parts that need improvement. 9. EXPERIMENT WITH STYLE. Instead of trying to conform to the ridig beauty ideal promoted in the media, experiment with finding a style or look that expresses something about yourself and feels good to you. When you exercise, pay attention to the rhythms and sensations you experience as you move. While exercise is often promoted as a way to lose weight and achieve an idealized body shape, it also often helps us feel good in our bodies, which in turn can help us accept and even celebrate how we look. 39

10. REJECT STEREOTYPES. Reject the imposed ideals that womanhood must be suppressed. If you have a curvy body, embrace your curves as symbols of power and pride. 11. GIVE UP THE MEDIA FOR A WEEK Forego reading magazines (especially fashion magazines), watching television or surfing the Internet. When you get the urge to click the remote control, go for a walk or invite a friend over for tea and conversation. At the end of the week, notice if you feel differently about yourself or not. 12. MAKE A VARIETY OF FRIENDS Include women of all ethnic and racial groups, age groups, sizes, abilities and sexual orientations in your circle of friends. When we expose ourselves to the rich and varied experiences of all women, our narrow ideas about beauty and bodies will change. 13. KILL YOUR INNER SUPERMODEL If you have an image of perfection in your head to which you’re constantly comparing yourself, get rid of it. You think your nose is too big? Compared to whose? You consider your stretch marks “flaws”? Where is it written that our bodies should be free of lines or marks or scars? Such bodies do not exist in real life.



Acknowledgments Bennett, J. (2009). How our obsession with beauty is changing our kids. Retrieved from Dittmar, H., Halliwell, E., Ive, S. (Eds). (2006). Does Barbie Make Girls Want to Be Thin? The Effect of Experimental Exposure to Image of Dolls on the Body Image of 5- to 8- Year-Old Girls. American Psychological Association. Duenwald, M. (2003). BODY AND IMAGE; One Size Definitely Does Not Fit All. Retrieved from health/body-and-image-one-size-definitely-does-not-fit-all. html?pagewanted=all&src=pm Goode, E. (2003). BODY AND IMAGE; How to Talk to Teenage Girls About Weight? Very Carefully. Retrieved from http://www.nytimes. com/2003/06/22/health/body-and-image-how-to-talk-to-teenagegirls-about-weight-very-carefully.html?pagewanted=all&src=pm Norworyta, A. (2001). The Image of Women in the Media. Retrieved from Unknown. (2006). Effects of Media Portrayal of Women. Retrieved from +of+Media+portrayal+of+women



a publication about the self-esteem issues in young girls and women


a publication about the self-esteem issues in young girls and women