If you have a moment between now and Thursday, look at this website. Positive Image Month is the brainchild of Kate Hardcastle, the well-known entrepreneur and businesswoman, who just felt that collectively, we had to do something to try to rebalance the terrible weight on people in our society (especially young people, and especially women) to look, appear and act in certain ways. Poor self-image is at the root of so much unnecessary agonising, and it stands to reason that the poor self-esteem that results is a limiting factor on people achieving their full potential.
Consider some of the facts:
- More than 90 percent of girls – 15 to 17 years – want to change at least one aspect of their physical appearance, with body weight ranking the highest.
- Girls’ self-esteem peaks when they are 9 years old – just 9!
- 80% of children who are 10 years old are afraid of being fat.
- Obese boys and girls have significantly lower self-esteem than their non-obese peers.
- Nearly a quarter of girls age 15-17 would consider undergoing plastic surgery – a frightening thought.
- 13 percent of girls age 15-17 acknowledge having an eating disorder.
- 7 in 10 girls believe they are not good enough or do not measure up in some way including their looks, performance in school and relationships.
- 80% of 10-year-old girls have dieted.
- Young girls are more afraid of becoming fat than they are of nuclear war, cancer, or losing their parents
Jo Swinson MP’s All Parliamentary Body Confidence Report, which came out earlier this year, concluded that “Body Image dissatisfaction in the UK has never been higher”, and it is blighting the lives of hundreds of thousands of people a year. We do not want this – no sane society can possibly want this – and we have to do something about it.
This coming month, let us step up to the mark and do something positive for our body image and the body image of others. Let us help ourselves and others realise that it is what we do and who we are that really matters, not what we look like. It is time to break free of the shackles of negative self-perception and realise our true potential.
Enjoy just being you this month … and do your bit to help others just enjoy being who they really are. Spread the word.