Miles* 12, hated her wavy hair so much that she had it rebounded every month. After a year, her hair became brittle and fell off her scalp. Lian*, 21, spent all her money on facial products. Sometimes, her skin bled from all the induced peeling. Then there's Sarah, 22, who shared her heartrending tale in Candy's January-February 2008 issue. She binged and purged too much that she developed hepatitis and put her life at risk.
"We cannot blame teenage girls if they take hours to get ready or if they won't touch a chocolate chip cookie, "says occupational therapist Jeanette Lane B. Soriano, OTRP. " In their favorite TV series, the lead actress is sizzling hot in her tank top and shorts. The media plays an enormous role in putting in their young minds that a perfect body is zero in fat."
Girls are generally sensitive about their appearance during their teens because of major physical changes. Ms. Soriano says that it's okay to be image-conscious as long at it's not taking over your life.
Miles used to spend hours every day ironing her hair, that she usually skipped breakfast or risked being late to school. If her waves weren't straight enough, she'd fuss over them nonstop and be distracted from school work. When hair clumps fell off after consecutive rebonding treatments, her hat became a constant reminder of what she had done.
Lian obsessed about occasional blemishes and noticed the minutes detail about her nice complexion. " Once I had a blackhead on my chin that I pricked, and it got infected and became a big zit. It got so bad that I avoided eye contact and lied to friends as an excuse to stay home," she shares.