The student news site of Plainfield High School Central Campus

The Fielder

The student news site of Plainfield High School Central Campus

The Fielder

The student news site of Plainfield High School Central Campus

The Fielder


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Body image takes toll on teens, children

Graphic by Emma Cowden

The alarm blares in their ear like the world was about to end. Like it was a warning. Teenage girls and boys around the world roll out of bed and find their way to the nearest mirror. Their eyes are too far apart, their lips too small, their acne too noticeable, their waist not noticeable enough, their muscles not big enough, their hair too frizzy, too straight, too curly. They throw on makeup and oversized clothing and straighten or curl their hair, and decide to skip breakfast that morning.
In a recent Fielder survey of 52 students, 47 agreed that students struggle with body positivity and body image, one of the most common reasons being social media.
“Social media causes teens these days to believe that a perfect hip to waist ratio, and a perfect stomach and big lips and stuff like that is normal, when most of the stuff they see isn’t even real anyway,” Spencer Kazak, freshman, said.
According to 30-90% of social media users edit their photos before posting. Therefore, the things teens see on social media quite often aren’t what they seem. While social media is a leading factor, normal social interactions also cause a loss of body positivity.
“We are social creatures. And with that comes social norms, a set of rules and expectations that don’t get written down. It’s something you have to know and interpret yourself and one of these expectations is to be skinny. To be beautiful. If you’re a girl, to wear makeup. A guy, you look muscular, lift weights. This is something that we have unknowingly spread like wildfire and we effectively created a virus of unrealistic expectations,” Charlie Yimet, junior, said.
These bodily insecurities have spread so far that even children are trying to get involved in makeup and skin care products like retinol, that are harmful to kids.
“They’re kids, they shouldn’t be worried about that. Be a kid, play in the dirt, build sand castles, don’t worry about wearing makeup and starting ‘skin care’,” Aleks Wilson, senior, said.
While 41 out of 52 students agree that children shouldn’t be utilizing makeup and using skin care products, others have a different approach.
“Not makeup, but skincare is good for kids. It’s good to make it a habit before you actually start getting acne, similar to brushing your teeth,” Alexi Mlynarczyk, sophomore, said.
Everyone has their own personal beliefs and viewpoints on this current epidemic, but there is one thing that most agree is the leading cause.
“Societal standards of the perfect body are, which is always changing so we are constantly trying to perfect ourselves,” Madison Hickman, freshman, said.
The absolute perfect person is unattainable, everyone has flaws, but the idea of striving to be perfect is what’s causing students and children so much turmoil. There are ways, however, to break this cycle.
“Change starts with you- it is internal, and it starts with self-respect and a positive attitude. It is important to focus on health and not size. It is important to not compare your body with your friends, family members, or media images,” according to
Starting this change also gives those struggling an opportunity to find themselves.
“Allow yourself the freedom to explore who you really are. There are so many influences on our lives that we get wrapped up in what we are supposed to be, how we should act, or what we are supposed to feel, that we lose sight of the opportunity to be ourselves without the judgement of others or even ourselves,” Christina Florence, beYOUty project sponsor, said.

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