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Monday, July 6, 2015

How do teens think about body image, beauty and bullying? 3 perspectives from around the world


Body image, beauty and bullying. In TED-Ed Clubs, students are guided through the process of making a presentation on an idea they feel passionate about — and dozens of students in clubs around the world have boldly chosen to talk about how to combat negative body image, distorted images of beauty and the bullying that springs from rigid rules about appearance.

Watch — but more important, listen — to these three inspiring perspectives on body image, beauty and bullying from teenagers in three different countries.

A presentation on body image: A competition with yourself

Julia Takata starts her presentation by recalling an experience she had in dance class. The short story: She started comparing herself to a classmate. “Because I was younger, I was very susceptible to what other people had to say about me. [I kept wondering], ‘How I could change myself?’” says Takata, a student in the TED-Ed Club at the Punahou Summer School in Honolulu, Hawaii. “What I didn’t realize was: I was letting someone who barely knew me tell me who I was.”

Takata sees a connection between this experience and eating disorders, which she thinks of as “your mind having a competition with your body.” “It’s a constant battle between being skinny and being well-nourished. During this battle, your body is really taking a beating,” she says. “All of this to achieve what society often portrays as beautiful.”

“But you don’t have to be skinny to be beautiful,” she says. “To be beautiful means to be yourself. You don’t need to be accepted by others. You need to accept yourself.”

Click here to watch Julia's presentation or press PLAY on the video below.