Three out of five teenage girls say they struggle with their body image because of social media

Three in five teenage girls in Ireland have body image issues because of social media, according to a new survey.

It is among the worrying findings emerging from research about the mindset, mental health and self-esteem of 12- to 19-year-old girls.

The wide-ranging survey also found that four in five teenage girls don’t feel they will have the same opportunities as boys.

That shows the poll conducted last week among 500 12- to 19-year-olds

* 90 percent have negative thoughts about themselves

* 80 percent do not believe they will have the same opportunities as boys

*77pc do not feel nice

* Almost 60 percent agree they have worries or fears that no one knows about

*84pc think negatively about the world around them.

The research was conducted by The Shona Project, an initiative to help teenage girls deal with issues like bullying, low self-esteem and anxiety in an era of social media. The survey was conducted in partnership with The Youth Lab and the Irish Second-Level Students’ Union (ISSU).

Other findings included that over the past six months, 61 percent said they struggled with poor body image because of social media, 55 percent felt isolated, 52 percent struggled with low self-esteem, and 48 percent struggled with poor mental health.

The teenagers were also asked about potential threats in their daily lives and 61 percent felt unsafe in the evenings and nights and 56 percent said they didn’t know what they would do if they experienced bullying.

About 33 percent agreed their parents didn’t have a good understanding of what was going on in their lives.

When it comes to exercise, two in five (42 percent) said they had given up exercise in the last 24 months, citing lack of motivation as the main reason.

Tammy Darcy, founder and CEO of The Shona Project, said young women are feeling “more stressed, isolated and anxious than ever”.

The project will host its annual Shine festival next month to celebrate International Girls’ Day. Three out of five teenage girls say they struggle with their body image because of social media

Fry Electronics Team

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