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понедельник, 27 февраля 2017 г.

Diet pills and saving pocket money for cosmetic surgery

Eating disorders at eight, cosmetic surgery at 14 – today’s teenagers are riddled with insecurities. In painfully honest interviews, these four girls talk about a shocking world of group starvation, diet pills and saving pocket money for cosmetic surgery


'I can't wait to have surgery'
Misha Patterson, 14, is from Gloucester. She's 5ft 3in and weighs 8st. She says: "When I turn 18, the first thing I'm going to do is have a nose job. I hate my nose - it's just too big for my face. People make nasty comments about it and I always feel like strangers are staring at it.
I'm already saving £15 a week from my paper round to make sure I can afford to have cosmetic surgery as soon as I'm old enough. I dream about having a little button nose like Lily Allen's, but until then all I can do is use make-up to try to disguise it. Every day, I spend half an hour applying blusher in a bid to make it look thinner.
My mum doesn't think I need surgery, but I've made up my mind. These days, cosmetic surgery is no big deal. What's worse is having flaws. I'm a size 8, but I've got chunky legs and my face is too chubby. I'm not interested in finding a boyfriend yet, but I worry that when the time does eventually come, all the boys will think I'm ugly. They see the same airbrushed photos of celebrities that girls do and they expect us to look just like them.

"I'm sure boys think I'm ugly"
We did a project on body image at school recently and a group of boys were asked whether they prefer natural or fake-looking girls. All of them admitted that they would rather have a fake-looking girlfriend, because at least then she would be 'perfect'. The girls in my class were really shocked at this. We like the fake look, but none of us thought the boys would, too. How are any of us supposed to feel body-confident when we hear horrible things like that?"
Misha's mum, Dawn, 51, says: "I wish Misha felt happy whenever she looked at herself in the mirror. She's such a gorgeous girl and she doesn't need any cosmetic surgery. I hate the thought of her having any procedures. I hope the self-loathing is just a phase she's going through and that she'll grow out of her insecurities sometime very soon."








Bethan Pool saves her money for tooth veneer

















'All my friends are prettier than me'
Bethan Pool, 15, is from Horsforth, Leeds. She is 5ft 4in and weighs 8st 5lb. She says: "I believe you have to be beautiful and slim to be successful. Most famous people are known for their looks first and talent second. Even at school it's the pretty girls who are always the most popular.
Mum says I'm being ridiculous and that no one's perfect - but Cheryl Cole and Lily Cole are.
I'd also like to get hair extensions, a nose job and liposuction on my fat tummy, as well as cosmetic surgery to get rid of my chubby cheeks. My friends and I constantly talk about the way we look. I usually moan to them about my teeth, eczema and my short legs. The worse thing is, my friends are all taller, slimmer and more attractive than I am, so if they're criticising themselves for being fat and ugly, what does that make me?
We won't eat in front of each other. If someone has an apple or a cereal bar at lunch, then says: 'I shouldn't have eaten that,' we all think: 'She's thinner than me, so that means I shouldn't eat at all.' The only time we eat properly is at home. We could never go out for dinner at a restaurant together because we'd all end up just ordering plates of carrots.
My main problem is my teeth. They're yellow and wonky. I try not to smile in front of people or for photos, and I hide my mouth with my hand as much as possible whenever I'm speaking.
I don't have a boyfriend at the moment - I'm far too self-conscious to even talk to a boy, let alone date one! My mum's always telling me I'm being silly, and that I've got nothing to worry about, but I don't believe her.
I get £10 a week pocket money and I'm trying to save most of it so that I can afford to have veneers on my teeth. I've read that celebrities have them to make their smiles beautiful. As soon as I'm old enough, I'm getting some. I can't wait to start making myself look perfect."
Bethan's mum, Sian, 46, says: "I would much rather that Bethan was saving up her pocket money to be able to afford something like a trip around the world or her first car than veneers for her teeth. I hope she'll soon start to realise that there are more important things to spend your money on than having a smile like Cheryl Cole. Bethan needs to start believing how beautiful she is and begin enjoying life, instead of dwelling on these unhealthy hang-ups."

Leanne Harvey hates her hips
'I want to chisel my hips off'
Leanne Harvey (below), 15, from Chelmsford, is 5ft 5in and weighs 9st 7lb. She says: "If someone asked me which bit of my body I dislike, I'd say: 'All of it!' I've got a long list of things I'd love to change, including the flabby bits at the tops of my arms, my short legs and my nose. But the thing that bothers me the most is my hips.
I'm a size 10 on the bottom, but my hips are wide and, although I've tried dieting and exercising, I can't lose my pear shape. I'm convinced people stare at me because of it.
I used to skip PE at school because I didn't want to wear shorts. Then the school called my parents and I had to explain myself. It was embarrassing, but nothing compared to how I felt in my shorts.
My body worries have affected my social life, too. While friends go to parties, I stay at home or see my boyfriend. He says I'm pretty and have a good body, but I don't believe him.
Seeing pictures of celebrities sparked off my body issues. I can't help but compare myself and feel jealous that I don't look as good. I know they're often airbrushed, but even when you see them photographed in bikinis on holiday they look lovely.
I often wish I could chisel my hips off. When I'm 18, I'm going to have liposuction and once I get wrinkly, I'll try Botox. I'm convinced my life will be better after surgery - I'll be happier and more confident. I know things can go wrong with cosmetic surgery, but everything comes with a risk. The only thing that would hold me back is the cost. But I'm so desperate for Jennifer Aniston's body, I won't be happy until I have it."
Leanne's mum, Marion, 53, says: "Leanne has unrealistic expectations about how she should look. She compares herself to celebrities and I think she's very influenced by them. She's often late for school because she's doing her make-up. I don't want her education to suffer because of the time she's spending on her appearance. For now, I can say 'no' when she says she wants surgery. But I'm worried about what's going to happen when she's 18."

Emma Burns won Miss Teen Sunderland
'I get bullied for being fat'
Emma Burns, 14, is from Sunderland. She's 5ft 6in and weighs 9st. She says: "I've always loved dressing up and putting make-up on. Last year, I entered the Miss Teen Sunderland beauty pageant. But while I loved the catwalk, behind the scenes I was really self-conscious.
I'm a size 12, but I felt like the fattest girl in the competition. When the other contestants looked me up and down I wanted to cry. All I could think about was how everyone was probably talking about how ugly I was.
I've been teased about my weight for the last year. I was really skinny until the age of 11, when I gradually started putting on weight. A few months ago, a boy told me I was obese, which really upset me.
I've tried eating healthily, counting calories, detox regimes and even herbal diet pills, but none of it's worked. I went to the gym three times a week, but only lost about 5lb, and I put it back on as soon as I stopped going.
My friends and I believe looks and fame go hand in hand. We love Kate Moss and Cheryl Cole and want lives like theirs. I know I'd be happier if I was a size 8.
Amazingly, I won Miss Teen Sunderland, and now I'm through to the finals of Mini Miss UK. I entered in the hope it would give me confidence, and those few minutes on stage were the only time I've ever felt happy about the way I look."
Emma's mum, Michelle, 40, says: "I hoped winning Miss Teen Sunderland would make Emma realise how lovely she is and stop her worrying about her weight. It hasn't. She sees size-zero celebrities and thinks you have to be like that to be beautiful and successful. But you should just be yourself."
Why are our children so worried about how they look?
Clinical psychologist Dr Helen Nightingale helps teens with body-image issues. She says: "These days, there are many factors affecting teenagers' body image, including adverts and celebrities. And because they identify with their peers, they won't listen to reassurance from Mum. Kids today also set unrealistically high standards. So when they see people 'fixing' their bodies, they want to as well. If parents are worried that their children are becoming obsessed with their looks, they should find ways to help redirect their thoughts. Encourage them to help others worse off than them to gain perspective. Life isn't all about looking like a celebrity. Being individual, and healthy, should be celebrated."

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