Abstract
PERSONAL CHALLENGES, CRITICISM AND EXPERIENCES WITH BODY IMAGE OF ADOLESCENT GIRLS IN SCHOOLS OF CHANDIGARH, INDIA

Chandni Singh*, Dinesh Kumar Walia and Savita Prashar

ABSTRACT

Adolescence is a crucial time that could either mould or upend a person's eventual maturity as they do not have enough psychological development in this stage. As a result, incidents like body shaming, weight discrimination can have an influence later on. Additionally, in case of female adolescents these problems are made worse by the particular difficulties they encounter in daily life. Objective: To explore opinions and experiences of adolescent girls regarding personal challenges and criticism concerning physical appearances. Methodology: A cross-sectional study was conducted in schools of Chandigarh with 168 adolescent girls’ participants between the age group of 13-19 years. Multi-stage random sampling was done for data collection. Result: Among the (N=168) participants, (n=50) 29.8% disclosed experiencing incidents of body shaming. A significant (n= 91) 54.2% expressed self-consciousness regarding their body weight, while (n= 67) 39.9% had attempted various remedies to improve their physical appearance, including achieving fairer skin. Remarkably, (n= 129) 76.8% of the girls believed that one's physical appearance exerted an influence on the mental well-being of adolescents. Furthermore, the girls shared a range of day-to-day challenges they encountered, suggesting potential areas for intervention. A substantial (n=142) 84.5% reported experiencing academic pressure, while (n=107) 63.7% felt constrained in their decision-making freedom. Issues like social discrimination, comparisons, societal judgments and many more were also cited by the respondents. Conclusions: The significant incidence of body shaming and other sited issues highlights the need for intervention because they present chances to improve adolescent wellbeing and lessen potential future psychological health issues.

Keywords: Body Shaming, Personal Challenges, Adolescent health, Physical Appearance.


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