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Adolescence (from Latin: adolescere meaning "to grow up") is a transitional stage of physical and psychological human development generally occurring between puberty and legal adulthood (age of majority).The period of adolescence is most closely associated with the teenage years,although its physical, psychological and cultural expressions can begin earlier and end later. For example, although puberty has been historically associated with the onset of adolescent development, it now typically begins prior to the teenage years and there has been a normative shift of it occurring in preadolescence, particularly in females (see early and precocious puberty).Adolescence marks a time of rapid and intense emotional and physical changes. There is an increased value placed on peer acceptance and approval, and a heightened attention to external influences and social messages about cultural norms. Body image and related self-concept emerge as significant factors associated with health and well-being during this developmental phase, as youths begin to focus more on their physical appearance. How adolescents formulate and define their body image ideals and subsequent self-comparisons is strongly influenced by personal, familial, and cultural factors.
Social influences, however, which include the media and popular/mainstream culture, may promote specific images and standards of beauty and attractiveness that contradict good health practices and one's ability to achieve a specific body type or image.

Although these messages permeate the whole of society, including adolescent boys and girls, girls are often targeted by media and social body image ideals and are more likely to suffer negative health outcomes associated with body dissatisfaction. Consider the following:

    According to a survey of adolescent girls, the media was identified as the primary source of information about health issue.

    A study of mass media magazines revealed that women's magazines had 10.5 times more advertisements and articles promoting weight loss than men's magazines
Many adolescent girls believe physical appearance is a major part of their self-esteem and their body is a major sense of self . The experience of body dissatisfaction can lead to poor health habits and low self-esteem. These negative feelings may contribute to a higher prevalence of depressive symptomatology and lower self-esteem among girls  and can affect health behaviors associated with poor eating habits, dieting, depression and anxiety, and eating disorders