We need to talk about body image
Throughout previous years body image has become an increasingly bigger problem. Looking back as far as I can remember my generation grew up with celebrities plastered all over tv and magazines. This influence made it incredibly hard to appreciate your body when you think you look nothing like how your “supposed” to. Over the years social media has only got bigger and more common for young people to use. I can only imagine how much harder it is in this generation to grow up feeling fulfilled and happy with so much pressure on body image.
After interviewing some of our young people it became clear many of us shared the same views about body image and the reasons behind this feeling of not belonging. I took a personal statement from one of our young people who has just recently left school. The individual stated that many young people feel peer pressured into being a size 0 and looking like a model and that school popularity plays a major role in this. Young people believe that body dissatisfaction is not taken seriously enough, we have essentially sent our children a message that their issues in life are not taken seriously!
Other individuals agreed that many big label stores do not accommodate bigger/smaller sizes thus adding to the illusion that you should look a certain way. In recent year we have seen a slight change in this as some stores have now created a new line of clothing for all sizes, which is a step in the right direction.
One of the topics we discussed is how hard it can be to stay in healthy in this day and age. If you are struggling with money the cheaper options of fast foods, frozen foods and quick meals seem like the better option when fruit, veg and fresh meat can rack up a costly bill.
Last July the British youth council asked parliament to:
- Address current knowledge gaps, especially about body image in pre-adolescents
- Develop resources for groups other than women, who are targeted in most current campaigns
- Introduce an annual National Body Confidence week
- Appoint a Government Equalities Office minister
- Hold workshops with the Be Real campaign and major brands to increase uptake of its Body Image Pledge.
Now that several organisations have noticed how big an issue this is we will hopefully see a big change in generations to come.
We as a charity have a programme specifically aimed at young girls called empower me! Our aim is that we can support all of our youngsters into feeling, empowered happy and confident. If you want more information on this you can find it at www.achievemorescotland.co.uk
“I am imperfect yet my imperfections, like any great work of art, are what make me a masterpiece”