• June 6Seniors: mandatory grad practice at 10:35 a.m. at the VBCC on Monday, June10.
  • June 5Good luck to spring sports athletes as they continue into post-season play.
  • June 5Seniors: mandatory graduation meeting held at the school on Tuesday, June 11, at noon.
  • May 29Graduation will take place on June 14, at 1 p.m., at the Virginia Beach Convention Center.
The student news site of Frank W. Cox High School

Falcon Press News

The student news site of Frank W. Cox High School

Falcon Press News

The student news site of Frank W. Cox High School

Falcon Press News

Prom dieting: helpful or harmful?

“Girls developed eating disorders when our culture developed a standard of beauty that they couldn’t obtain by being healthy. When unnatural thinness became attractive, girls did unnatural things to be thin.” -Mary Pipher

With the arrival of prom season, comes dress shopping, picking out shoes and accessories, and preparing for the big night. Of course, this can all be exciting for senior girls and guys. However, with the excitement the night brings also comes pressure to look “perfect”, and can cause teens to use extreme weight loss plans.

Magazine models and Instagram photos can create insecurity for impressionable young teens that convince them they need to be extremely thin. What they don’t know, is that many of those photos are edited and retouched in order for the models to look as perfect as possible. Furthermore, influencers on social media are paid to promote dieting fads and “superfoods” that will allegedly cause one to burn fat quickly and shed extra pounds.

This is extremely damaging for many teens because they will attempt to undereat, take pills that they don’t know the side effects of, and exercise rigorously to try and lose enough weight for prom. Some will look to other methods of weight loss that could potentially medically harm them as well. These people are young and unaware of the long term effects that dieting in an unhealthy way can have on their young bodies.

According to the National Library of Medicine, around 65 percent of girls aged 5 years-old already have an idea about  the ideal weight and weight loss. This is caused by the things they see and hear from their mothers and the environment around them;  ideas that are instilled early on, and can translate into their adult lives.

Extreme dieting for prom is not only harmful physically, but also mentally. Teens  constantly look at themselves in the mirror, pointing out every flaw and insecurity. The emphasis on weight loss for teens almost always leads to depression, body dysmorphia, anxiety, and potentially anorexia.

What may seem like just a quick way to drop weight for prom, may turn in to a habit. Most fad diets involve completely cutting out specific foods in order to lose weight as fast as possible. Once someone has reached their goal weight, going back to eating those foods generally will make them gain the weight back. Strictly limiting a diet can also expose people to eating disorder habits such as binging and purging.

According to the National Assocation of Anorexia and Disorders, 28.8 million Americans will have an eating disorder in their lifetime.

While quick dieting can lead to health problems, there is nothing wrong with staying active and motivated. Beginning a fitness journey for oneself can help improve mental and physical health.

According to the Mayo Clinic, getting 300 minutes a week or more of exercise is recommended for people to lead a healthy and happy lifestyle.

Exercise releases endorphins, and can boost one’s mood almost instantly. There is a safe way to live a little healthier, without restricting and losing weight rapidly. Also, eating well is great for the immune system and how one’s body functions. It’s important to try to avoid limitation, but to look for healthier options in everything you eat. All food is okay in moderation, and all people deserve a treat every once in awhile.

If teens choose to begin exercising and eating well before prom in order to feel good, that’s great. In fact, making sure that teens are exercising and eating well in a healthy way is crucial. Large corporations often push insecurities upon teens and convince them that they need to lose weight as fast as possible, but it’s possible to feel good in one’s own body by practicing healthy eating and exercise habits.

It’s important to always check in on friends, and make sure that they aren’t facing challenges similar to these alone. Providing support and healthy ways to approach food and exercise for friends or loved ones is so important in today’s times. It’s okay to want to look good in your prom dress, but make sure that it’s done right. People struggling with body image issues or anything pertaining to physical and mental health should always contact a teacher, trusted adult, or family member in order to provide guidance.

Overall, the makeup and clothing industry needs to stop pushing impossible standards and creating harmful ideals for teens to pine over when they’re trying on a prom dress. It is necessary that we all try our best to stay as healthy as possible in order to continue a positive outlook and maintain a balanced lifestyle. Prom night is one of the most memorable events of high school for teens. Put down that phone, stop scrolling, and realize that the majority of content is all fake!

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About the Contributor
Quinaja Harrington
Quinaja Harrington, Sports Editor
I am a Junior Journalism 3 student.  I am a Sports Editor, and I currently write about esports. I am interested in photography. My hobbies are drawing and painting landscapes.  Some things that describe  me would be quiet and creative.

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