Young women are expected to do it all, be perfect, as seen in advertisements featuring a beautiful woman in a suit and heels, happily striding down the sidewalk carrying a briefcase and a baby. This pressure to be attractive and achieve is part of the explanation for rising anxiety and depression levels in girls in the US. This pressure also may make girls more vulnerable to criticism on social media and from peers. Girls were three-fourths of the depressed teens in a 2016 Johns Hopkins University study of interviews with more than 172,000 teens.[i] The previous year the National Institute of Mental Health reported that about 30% of girls and 20% of boys have an anxiety disorder.[ii]
[i] “Depression on the Rise Among Teens, Especially Girls,” HUB Staff Report, November 16, 2016.
[ii] Susanna Schrobsdorff, “Teen Depression and Anxiety: Why the Kids Are Not Alright,” TIME Magazine, October 27, 2016.