The “Demons” Controlling Our Bodies

“The perfect body is a healthy body.”

“The perfect body is a healthy body.”

By Annette Chu, Staff Writer

With teenagers being more likely to struggle with negative body image, they set high standards for how they have to look, and it can lead them to drastic measures to reach that standard.


Media and Body Image

The media has a huge effect on the way teens view themselves. According to the National Eating Disorders Association, “One in every 3.8 television commercials conveys an ‘attractiveness message,’ telling viewers what is considered attractive. These messages convey the idea that extreme thinness is much more attractive and desirable than a normal, healthy weight. The typical American teen sees more than 5,260 of these ‘attractiveness messages’ every year.”

When you see celebrities, you see that they have nice bodies, and it drives people to want that specific body shape. In female celebrities, they usually have nice curves, a big butt and breasts, and are feminine and skinny. Male celebrities usually have muscular bodies.


The “Perfect” Body

The ideal body at Miami High, however, differs according to students and gender.  Some students believe that the perfect body doesn’t exist. Freshman Victoria Mendez said, “Everyone has their own perfect body and we are all so different, there’s no way you can pick one type of body everyone has to strive to copy.”

Freshman Jade Curbelo said, “The ‘perfect’ body to me would be any type of body. Weight, height, skin, color, shape, none of that matters. At the end of the day, it’s what you were given, and you have to take care of yourself. Your body is a temple. Love it and cherish it. Every single body is beautiful.”

Similarly, sophomore Keilyn Delgado said, “A ‘perfect’ body to me is a body where a person exudes confidence. Confidence is everything that makes you look beautiful.”

On the other hand, a female freshman who chooses to remain anonymous said, “The perfect body to me is a girl with a small waist, big breast, big butt, and clear skin.”

Freshman Isaac Sanchez said, “The perfect body to me is slim yet strong, with abs like a swimmer’s body.” Sophomore Daniel Gravier said that the perfect body for a guy is a muscular, healthy body like a model. For junior Andy Diaz,


How Do Teens View Themselves?

Even with the media having a huge influence on teens, some students view themselves in a positive way. Victoria Mendez said, “I do like the way I look, but there are also aspects of myself that I don’t love all that much. I think everyone has things they do not like about themselves and things they love. I really love my eyebrows, freckles, and my hair.” Keilyn Delgado loves her nose, eyes, hair, and skin.

Andy Diaz said, “I like how I look, especially my luscious beard.” Freshman Vladimir Somarriba said, “What I like the most about myself are my ears, because they contain a hole on the top that was passed down by my aunt.”

There are also students who are dealing with body image issues. A female freshman who chose to remain anonymous said, “I do not like how I look. I believe my nose is too big, and over the years, my glasses made it crooked and ugly.”

Jade Curbelo said, “I would change my weight and work on my body shape, because I think I could feel much better about myself if I was slimmer.”

Sophomore Jiuber Mena would change several things about his appearance such as “my nose or get rid of my moles and scars because I see them as a big deformity, even though they are just small details.”

A male freshman who chose to remain anonymous said, “Ever since I was little, I have always been seen as an unappealing person. If I could change anything about my body, it would be how overweight I am.”


Why Do People Care?

We are at an age where people care about their looks and body. We try to fit in what society thinks is attractive. Teens are becoming overly obsessed with what other users think of them, so many teens end up manipulating their photos with filters and photo-altering apps on social media, to gain those followers. 

Jade Curbelo said, “I feel like the idea created by society to look a certain way has further pushed me to believe that it’s not normal for me to be a bit big. Many social media platforms and modeling agencies imply that it’s not okay to be different than others. Society has made it almost unacceptable to be yourself.


Overcoming the “Demons” in Your Head

Overcoming negative body perspective is extremely difficult. However, some students at Miami High have found ways to do this. A female sophomore who chose to remain anonymous said, “One thing I do to overcome negative thoughts about my body is realizing that there is only one me, and I compare myself from when I used to suffer from anorexia and bulimia for two years. I see how much I lost, and that includes myself, my health, my passion, my motivation, and my bonds with the people I most care about in my life by constant arguments all because of a mental health problem taking over my life. Every time I start comparing myself and thinking negative, I see that version of myself and remind myself I never want to feel that way ever again, because it is not worth losing everything I’ve ever had to destroy my health and confidence.”

Freshman Isaac Sanchez said, “It’s all a mental struggle between society and individuals. So you have to train your mind to push through the pain of social rejection. For me, my escape is working out, because when your body is fit and strong, you’re also mentally strong.”

10th grade counselor Ms. Blanco has some advice for students who are struggling. “One thing I realized when dealing with teens, is that we are our worst enemy. Instead of finding all the negative things about your body, try to find one positive thing about yourself. From there you start to change the way you see yourself, and you’ll start to learn to love yourself from the inside and out.”


Improving Your Looks

Sometimes, however, attention to one’s looks can lead to healthy changes in one’s lifestyle. “I personally don’t care as much about my looks to the point where I would do plastic surgery or major gym time,” said Keilyn Delgado, “but I do realize that everyone else does, where they judge you based on your looks, and that prompts me to want to take care of myself, eating right, and exercising.”

Jade Curbelo said, “I’ve started eating healthier. I’ve made some changes to my physical attributes like dying my hair for example.”

A male senior who chose to remain anonymous said, “Well I have actually been going to the gym lately, and playing basketball because it does reduce stress, especially from the amount of endurance I’m gaining. I do believe a healthy mind will get you into a healthier body so that’s my way of improving how I look.”

Jiuber Mena said, “Some ways I have done to improve my body is growing facial hair to add more details about my body, and I have started exercising to help out my figure.”