Athletes Body Image

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Insecurities about physical appearance are prominent during the teenage years. Teens are influenced by their surroundings to determine what the ideal look is. The way professional athletes are portrayed play a part in this judgement. Teenagers receive an unhealthy influence on body image from sports via the way athletes are depicted. Female athletes are not presented as beautiful: discouraging young women from having a large or muscular body. The cover of Sports Illustrated featuring Serena Williams shows off her muscular body; however, the shot chosen for the cover is one where her face is contorted. Not only did the magazine choose a somewhat unflattering photo for the cover, but Sports Illustrated also conceals most of Williams’s chest…show more content…
The American College of Sports Medicine states, “. . . certain sports appear to place athletes at an increased risk [for body image disturbances], particularly sports that use weight classifications, such as wrestling and weightlifting.” The article’s point is that some sports are more likely to have athletes that go to unhealthy extremes to change their body image. These are some of the athletes that influence the public’s idea of a great body. Unfortunately, some of these athletes suffer from disorders. Muscle dysmorphia, commonly described as “reverse anorexia,” is characterized by a person’s unhealthy obsession and dissatisfaction with his or her body size and muscularity. These individuals see themselves as small or frail even when they are big and muscular (Source 4). An American College of Sports Medicine press release mentions male athletes with this disorder and states, “These men tend to be at risk of abusing performance–enhancing drugs and supplements.” These muscular men that get their image through enhancers putting their health at risk are promoted as having a great body—causing teenage boys to want an unrealistic body unless they put their health at risk. Coupled with the fact that many athletes in other sports also use enhancers, send a poor message to teens. Consequently, sports provide an unhealthy influence on teenagers by making them think the ideal body requires
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