Things that Influence a Teen’s Self-Esteem and Self-Confidence

A range of external and internal factors can impact and govern how a kid thinks about their body. 

Puberty & Development

Teenagers frequently have a terrible time during puberty. While everyone goes through puberty, it does not happen in the same way for everyone at the same time. It’s easy for a teen to become self-conscious as their body changes. This period may influence their thoughts and how they believe others see and perceive them. Puberty is a difficult time for many teenagers due to physical changes as well as a desire to be loved and accepted by peers. 

Media Images & Cultural Influences

While the media has already been emphasized, it is worth repeating. Images and ‘rules’ for what is considered lovely are aplenty in our culture. Teens may have self-esteem issues and doubt if they compare themselves to celebrities and airbrushed media photos. 

Family & School Environments

Family members might have an unintentional impact on their teen’s body image, according to Kids Health. Parents who battle with their own body image could be setting a bad example for their children. Family members can also be more direct, asking things such as, “Why do you wear your hair like that?” or “Can you locate clothing that fits you?” While these questions are meant to help the child make better decisions about their appearance, they may be viewed negatively.    

Coaches can be harsh or put too much emphasis on appearance, especially in sports where a weigh-in is necessary. 

Negative criticism and comments from classmates in the classroom may also be encountered by teenagers. Although these comments are not always meant to be hurtful, they can impair a teen’s body image during this difficult time. 

The following are signs that a teen may have a bad or unhealthy body image: 

  • Obsessive use of the mirror
  • Over amplifying blemishes and ‘imperfections’
  • Frequently thinking negatively about their body
  • When they compare their physique shape and size to that of others. 
  • Envy for a peer’s physique 
  • Envy for a celebrity’s body