I saw an article on Huffington Post this morning that made me cringe. I was so stunned, I had to write a post immediately.
According to to one NYU Child Study Center study 59 percent of girls in 5th through 12th grade are "dissatisfied with their physical appearance." Research also shows that little girls' self esteem peaks at, are you ready for this, age 8. Further, a girl’s self esteem “PLUMMETS” after age 9. Yikes.
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Education.com reports that the pressures on pre-teen girls is more intense than ever and list the following as evidence:
- Eating disorders, low self-esteem, and depression are the most common mental health problems in girls.
- 59% of 5–12th grade girls in one survey were dissatisfied with their body shape.
- 20–40% of girls begin dieting at age 10.
- By 15, girls are twice as likely to become depressed than boys.
- Among 5–12th graders, 47% said they wanted to lose weight because of magazine pictures.
- Health risks accompany girls' drop in self-esteem due to risky eating habits, depression, and unwanted pregnancy.
- Girls aged 10 and 12 (tweens) are confronted with "teen" issues such as dating and sex, at increasingly earlier ages. 73% of 8–12–year olds dress like teens and talk like teens.
You would figure that would be shocking enough for me to jump on my soap box about overcoming body image issues but that is not the worst of it.
According to Huffington Post, thousands of pre teens are putting themselves on You Tube asking if people think they are ugly. Can you believe this? Read this quote:
“One video, posted in December of 2010 has gotten over 3.4 million views and 92,000 comments. "I just wanted to make a random video seeing if I was like, ugly or not? Because a lot of people call me ugly and I think I am ugly ... and fat."
She goes on to show the audience a series of photos of herself and asks users to "tell me what you think." The comments on these clips range from astoundingly awful ("my vote: UGLIER THAN A DEMON" or "F*ck off whore wannabe") to supportive ("I think you look pretty and nice,") to concerned ("Sweetie, ur 2 young to be using the Internet, much less having these losers judge you.")”
I don’t know about you, but I am outraged. Yes, I use You Tube and I have find it to be a useful tool for reaching and teaching you, my audience of Spiritual Seekers. I had no idea that kids are able to get on and post this type of thing.
Don’t believe me? Check it out right here:
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Yes, there is an age requirement and kids are not supposed to be able to access or post videos. Obviously, the system is broken....way broken.