Talking to the teens during the programme production, a common theme with teens of all ages, was Body Image and Peer Pressure.
Teens are concerned about how they supposed to or should look , and there acceptance at school, by this definition.
If they are different ? . What other teens might think of them and how they might be judged by it and the reaction to them, like direct Bullying at school or indirect through Social Media for example, which is worse because the perpetrators enjoy anonymity, without suffering consequences or retribution . This causes severe stress and anxiety to their victims, making them to feel publically ostracized and outcasts, possibly ultimately pushing them into committing suicide to escape.
The media also often portrays unrealistic images of celebrities who are too thin or have supposedly the " Perfect Body ",
What they should strive to be more like ,if they want to be more socially acceptable and have it all. It is a false perception !
It focusses on unhealthy thought processes and then anxiety. Consequences include anorexia, bulimia, agoraphobia and there are also many other associated problems . It causes disssatisfaction with their own bodies and perhaps self- harm and suicide, as severe and devastating final consequences.
It was also brought to my attention in the media about Police finding people trafficking , of also Illegal and dangerous Steroid Use among Teenage Boys.
These Steroids contain harmful substances which cause deleterious effects on their bodies for their future, they should do a search for this, before they do anything to their growing bodies. Substances sold underground are worse because the contents are ambiguous and could contain anything being potentially life threatening, hazardous and deadly. They also have hormonal effects and might cause abberant and aggressive thought processes This is very extreme high risk and dangerous behaviour. It is also a form of subtle brainwashing that if the have a better body, they could have it all !
This also causes them to become inadvertantly narcissistic, self -absorbed, egotistical and vain, with an unrealistic sense of bravado and feeling of being all powerful, not just being confident in their personalities, abilities and skills.
I would say many of them should think about becoming more confident in their abilities and skills ie. doing activities, sport, improving their personalities , socializing, volunteering, being healthy and toned naturally not artificially which does not last in the long term and the overinflated muscles soon shrink after a few months, if not sustainable by natural methods or once the artificial substances and stimulants cease.
Enhancing your body naturally is a better,happier way and more sustainable for your future life ie. being healhy, a good diet, enough sleep, outdoor exercise and socializing with friends.
Teenage is a most wonderous time in your life, embrace and enjoy it because it is a fleeting time, in your life. All teens are naturally young and beautiful in their own way. You are all individual and special ( Not ON SPECIAL), that is discounted because you think you have something wrong with you or are different. Your differences in looks , ancestry, talents, abilities, creativity and skills make you unique there are no two people the same in the world, although twins might come close. As a teen I used to ask my mother before I went out, if I looked beautiful, she would answer your "even beautiful enough "and she meant I think now that with all your other positives together, you don't need to perceive yourself to have to be more attractive than you are, "you are real ! ". Also she would say " Beauty comes and goes, it fades but it's more important to maintain yourself well and improve yourself with personality and ability to reinvent yourself as time goes on".
Focus on those things that make you the different special person that is you and turn them into positives which add to your personality and create the interest you attract to yourself by being yourself ,and ignore your critics. . Be happy with what you were born with and enhance it, do the best with what you've got and were given by nature.
From time to time, brighten your smile, give your skin a treat, pamper yourself , go out, do something relaxing and that makes you happy, for your peace of mind !
Please do think carefully about altering your bodies to the extreme unnecessarily by artificial means as some things are not reversible once you get bored with it or they " GO OUT " of style as a fad, you might be stuck with it or the consequences of it. Extreme abberant behaviours are also detrimental to your body, ultimately which affect your long term health, mental health and well being adversely ie. Anorexia, Bulimia, ingesting/ drinking / injecting foreign and harmful substances, altering your body artificially etc. these are not natural and this ages your body at a faster rate, causes other bad effects, lowers your immunity against disease and could ultimately cause organ failure and preventable sudden death.
We all like to be someone else sometimes and It is fun to have an alias or alter ego for a while and experiment and look different in your apperance with hairstyles, make -up, clothes and accessories, until you find yourself and your real identity. These are temporary and usually reversible, so then you might explore another phase, it is all part of growing up and learning who you are and expressing your individuality, and discovering what is the real " Beautiful Person" you !