TEEN HEALTH Published July13, 2015 By Milafel Hope Dacanay

Online Beauty Challenges Increase the Risk of Poor Body Image

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Beauty challenges have never become so popular, thanks to the Internet, particularly to social media. One uploaded picture can be seen by hundreds of friends, many of which would probably try it out. However, according to an Australian-based foundation, these crazes can increase the risk of a bad body image.

The Butterfly Foundation has expressed its concern over the different body challenges that have become viral in social media such as Instagram and Facebook. These include the collarbone challenge where users have to stack coins on the collarbone. The more coins are placed, the thinner the person is. The thigh gap challenge has the same principle, only that the bigger gap indicates a slimmer body.

According to Christine Morgan, its chief executive, these types of challenges can be a contributing factor to a distorted body image that would then push teens to eventually develop eating disorders and behavior.

This observation is seconded by experts who believe that not only will it destroy proper eating habits, it will also cause negative thoughts and emotions such as depression and anxiety. Women may also struggle building good relationships with the opposite sex.

To curtail the health risks, different schools in Western Australia have already implemented age- and gender-oriented programs that tackle body image issues that concern them. They are also taught how to be more proactive like engaging in regular exercise or eating the right types of food. They are also encouraged to reflect on the effects of media on body image.

According to Do Something, an American organization that promotes better body image, body image is the perception a person develops about his or her own body based on the influence of others such as friends and family, as well as the media, including televisions, magazines, and the Internet. More than 90% of people diagnosed with eating disorder are 12 to 25 years old.  

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