Special Report: Body shaming challenges and its effects - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

Special Report: Body shaming challenges and its effects

Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
CLINTON, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

In the media, there is the pressure to be a certain size and body weight. Celebrities deal with it but they are not the only ones targeted. 

Currently, many people of all ages are experiencing body shaming, which is essentially bullying online.

Due to its popularity, people are now participating in these online challenges to show how small parts of your body are or how in shape you are.  Doctors say it’s a dangerous trend that can have long term effects on your health.

The latest in the trend is the iPhone 6 knees challenge.

Women on Twitter and Facebook are asked to place an iPhone 6 over their knees and if the phone covers your knees, they are apparently the right size. If it doesn't, they are too large.

 "There really is no such thing as the perfect body image," said Evan Slay, a senior at Clinton High School.

"They define their worth by what other people say and not by who they are,” said Casey Collier, also a senior at Clinton High School.

There are many challenges like the knees challenge, that are trending right now.

In the belly button challenge, you put your arm behind your back and bring it around the other side. The closer you can bring it to your belly button, the thinner and fitter you supposedly are.

"I think they are so weird because who would want to be that skinny? There are people like this big,” said Morgan Harris, a sophomore at Clinton High School.

Dr. Susan Buttross, Professor of Pediatrics at UMMC, says body shaming is bullying online and is prevalent in today’s society.

"So it does occur commonly in adolescence more commonly for adolescence online and at schools," Dr. Buttross explained.

Many celebrities have fallen victim to it, but it’s also popular among the young people...in particular young teenage girls. 

"There was another survey that showed that 50 percent, 50 percent of 10 year old girls had been on a diet to try to lose weight," said Dr. Buttross.

A group of Clinton teens say they’ve witnessed body shaming first hand.

"I've definitely witnessed it happen to other girls; people calling people fat and stuff and I know that being a girl if anyone would tell me that, it would really hurt," explained Collier.

"On celebrities account, you'll just see everything about her is fake, she's ugly, she needs to lose weight," said Harris.

These ladies say they care about their body image and have experienced the pressures of being a certain size.

"Because I am a soccer player, like the women's national team, thru are all so fit and muscular. I do feel pressure to look like that, just because I am labeled as a soccer player. I feel like I need to look like that," Slay said.

Dr. Buttros says being a victim of body shaming can have negative effects on your health from adolescence through adulthood.

She says that’s why it’s important to treat it early.

"It starts in the home. It also starts in schools. Teachers can play such a huge part in helping children in knowing what's important and what's not”

"My mom actually told me this, like it's a statistic like a girls’ father has a lot of impact on how a girl feels about herself," said Collier.

The the next time you see one of these challenges, Dr. Buttros says to ignore them. There isn’t a “perfect” size. She says the key is to love the body you are in.

“I can say most people want to be skinny but I lean towards wanting to be the curvy side, yeah I want to be curvy," Harris explained.

If you are experiencing body shaming or know someone who is, the key is to treat it early. You can start by seeing your family physician. 

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