Who or what do you think is primarily responsible for influencing an individual’s body image?
Parents can have either a positive or a negative influence on children and young people. The young people from our VIK group thought that this was particularly the case for young people up until their mid-teens, and when the young person was living in the family home. As the young person gets older, their peer group has more influence.
There are also external influences such as the media and fashion. A concern with these role models is that models are generally skinny, and ‘perfect’. The message that this gives to young people is that you have to be skinny if you want to be successful, popular, etc. Famous people who have a weight problem, or are less than ‘perfect’, e.g. have cellulite, spare tyre, etc. are humiliated by the media. They have been known to print the most unflattering photographs, and highlight the cellulite, etc. Any famous people, who have a weight problem, are made a joke...
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