Oh, man – news that makes me sad but not surprised (which makes me more sad). According to a new study conducted by Central YMCA, 25% of kids have considered getting plastic surgery due to what they see on television. The study consisted of 810 kids from ages 11 to 16. It was found that over 50% of the girls and over 33% of the boys compared their bodies to what they saw on television. And…it gets worse. Ten percent of the boys did not see an issue with taking steroids to become more muscular. One in eight girls said they resort to diet pills or laxatives to stay thin. Rosi Prescott, Chief Executive of Central YMCA told Daily Mail, “Young people appear to be increasingly insecure about their appearance and body image. There is a growing trend to resort to quick fixes, which are damaging to health and often unfulfilling. The root cause of this problem is the pressure on young people to conform to an unattainable and unrealistic body image ideal. It is also interesting that what used to be seen as a problem affecting young girls has now spread to young men.” Right on, and men are definitely being overlooked. In the presence of the whole metrosexuality trend, men have become a lot more aware of their appearance. For example, it’s highly likely that boys are seeking unrealistic ideals when they see TV stars such as Jersey Shore’s the “Situation” (yeah, I am using this as an example) showing off his sixpack. It’s horrible enough that kids are worrying about these kind of things at a young age, when their youth could be spent having fun and learning about the world they live in. But even more unfortunate is that these children are not being encouraged to take care of themselves and their health in a healthy way. For example, a child who is obese should be taught about eating a healthy, balanced diet and having an active lifestyle – instead of alternatives like plastic surgery/pills/steroids. These methods also do nothing for self-esteem and the feeling of achievement/working toward a goal – which are really important traits for kids to learn. This is not just a problem affecting kids, either. Generally, a good percentage of the population aren’t willing to exercise or diet to achieve their goals in a healthy and safe way – they would rather take pills or cosmetic procedures to achieve a faster result. The media makes these options attractive, because we have become bombarded with images of celebrities and models who have had Botox, breast augmentation, lips, injections and anything else you can think of. This creates a new, false representation of what the “norm” is – and it makes it nearly impossible to achieve. Ugh. Gross.