The world around us sends us all sorts of messages about the 'perfect' body: we get them from TV, movies, magazines, ads and store mannequins. It's alarmingly easy, in the midst of this bombardment, to feel that our own physical shape is wrong, or that we are less than beautiful. It becomes irrelevant that these 'perfect' body shapes are often physically impossible for us to attain. Even when we know this is the case, it can be hard not to feel that the fault lies with us, rather than the profit-driven 'beauty' industry.
It's important to look around in the real world - at your family and friends, and at people on the street. The reality is that guys and girls come in all different shapes and sizes. Did you know that only 5 - 10% of women are in the height and weight range of models? The same is true for guys. The other reality is that these 'perfect' images are often digitally enhanced (airbrushed) with special lighting and computer tricks.
During puberty, we are inclined to measure ourselves far more harshly than anyone else around us. It's really common to worry about your body shape or weight. One in three young people say that body image is their top concern (Mission Australia, 2008). And it's even easier to feel vulnerable or let down when your body is changing and growing really fast.