Mendi Baron – How Does The Influence Of Celebrities Affect Teen Self-Esteem?


Celebrities influence on our youth generation is immense. It is more of an issue today than it ever was before due to the fact that celebrities can go on social media and your teens can stay in touch with them and their messages 24/7. If the star in question is a positive role model, then this is fine, but if they perpetuate an unhealthy living standard or suggest crash diets or other dangerous trends, your teen can be in danger. Their self-esteem can take a huge hit, especially when combined with hormonal changes in teenage girl. Your daughter’s body is changing, and here is this celebrity telling her that to look the way she should, she should harm herself with whatever fad diet they are being paid to support.

How Celebrities Can Influence Eating Disorders

The Use of Thin Models in Media

The insistence of thinness in media creates disordered eating, especially in impressionable teen girls, though the phenomenon doesn’t stop just at their demographic. Boys and even adults can suffer due to this heightened image of manufactured beauty; preteen and teenage girls are just the most susceptible.

A study conducted by the Girl Scouts Research Institute revealed that almost 50% of teenage girls wished they were skinnier in order to match up to the ideal of what women look like in magazines. This trend is changing, however, with some governments even enforcing healthy BMIs onto models in order to force the fashion industry in particular to project a healthier vision of beauty, but progress is still slow.

Celebrities Can Also Promote Unhealthy Diets

It’s not just magazines that project this unhealthy ideal. Social media can be a dangerous place for a teen with a body image disorder. You have exceptionally thin people modeling themselves, and then you have celebrities that champion crash diets and other dangerous eating trends all in the bid to lose weight fast.

Between the pressure to look thin, and then celebrities actively suggesting dangerous methods to get skinny fast, it’s no wonder that teens, especially those experiencing teenage girl hormonal changes, can and do develop eating disorders like anorexia or bulimia in order to match their figure to the “ideal” projected by the media.

The opposite can also be true. If a celebrity endorses an unhealthy food or drink, teens can likely start buying these products as their personal heroes recommend them. This can lead to a variety of issues that affect their health.

How Celebrities Influence Behavior

The influence of celebrities on youth is pervasive. Between the changes in hormones during adolescence, to finding themselves, and the natural inclination to rebel, teenagerhood is chaotic as it is. If they start to idolize a celebrity who is on an unhealthy, destructive path, however, issues can escalate. Drug abuse and alcoholism are among a few of the problems you may face as a parent. This time of their lives is particularly fraught due to the hormonal changes during adolescence, which increase the likelihood of teenage risk behavior.

What to Do If Your Teen Is Acting Up

If your teen has an unhealthy obsession with a celebrity, they may exhibit worrying behavior that is similar to an addiction. They might do drastic things in order to make themselves more similar to this person. If your teen starts to act out or starts to harm themselves either directly or indirectly, it is best to seek help at one of our treatment centers here at Ignite.

Mendi is a passionate advocate for teens and young adults in the fields of mental health and addiction. Baron creates programs to bring a unique approach to the treatment of adolescents and young adults who are struggling with a variety of emotional and behavioral disorders and substance abuse issues.

Clinically trained, Baron earned a BA with honors in psychology and social work at the University of Maryland and an MSW at the University of Maryland School of Social Work. His extensive experience as a therapist includes individual and group counseling for children, adolescents, and families in various settings.  Gaining insight and experience, he has worked at several treatment centers including the Chesapeake Center for Youth Development, the Carroll County Youth Services Bureau, Chabad Crisis Centers, and the Center for Discovery and Adolescent Change.

Before launching Ignite Teen Treatment, Mendi conceived and built, from the ground up, multiple successful, high end adolescent residential and outpatient programs in Los Angeles. Mendi has appeared on the Dr. Phil show, is regularly featured in mental health and addiction publications, and speaks around the country in person and on Tv/Radio on these topics. With his newest ventures, Mendi instills a rare blend of energy, creativity, and experience to the treatment of teens, young adults, and their families struggling with addiction and mental health issues. The son of a Rabbi, eldest of 11 children, is a part-time rock musician, boxer, cantor, and father of three.

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