Drama is unfolding today after two boys from a prestigious Brisbane private school have been arrested for supplying steroids to classmates and another cautioned. The school, St Josephs’ Nudgee College is an elite sporting school, highly sought after for those with physical prowess. The boys involved were apparently trading in steroids to improve their bodies… Does this shine a light on the incredible pressure popular media, social media and peer pressure is having on kids to look like supermodels and sportspeople. With a phone in every kids pocket on which they can take photos and post them on Facebook are we creating a narcissistic generation that only cares about what they look like?
According to the Courier Mail, the college principal, has stated that the arrests were not linked to the school’s highly-touted athletic program, instead highlighting “issues associated with body image for young men.”
Body image for young men… when did that become worth taking drugs for? What happened to going to the gym, bulking up with some protein and getting there the right way? Next thing they will tell us young girls are taking amphetamines to lose weight in girls schools… what a scary thought.
Is this just another sign of the “it’s all about me” generation we are breeding, our generation of children and grandchildren? Is it a lack of the family values we had during our generations? Or should we take pity on these kids and think they are just a sad few who got it all mixed up? In my era kids got caught smoking pot, not worried about their bodies at all… haven’t the tables turned.
For some time now, Anorexia has been recognised as the third most common illness amongst young girls. Body image issues and the pressure on young girls to look ‘thin’ have been recognised as a crucial player in the increases in the disease. But since when did boys join the body image debate?
It is a worrying progression in the body image debate. Muscle-building steroids are known to cause a range of frightening health and mental side-effects. They are also known as illegal, performance-enhancing drugs, which can have sportspeople barred from their careers on charges of cheating when caught. This is dangerous for elite schools.
What could be causing this terrible pressure to pump up one’s body on steroids?
Is it Facebook? Mobile phones? A lack of supervision and parental guidance? School pressure? Peer pressure? Girls? … Surely peer pressure and girls have been around forever… So it must be some of the other ones… lets debate it…