‘Body image’ is the theme of this year’s Mental Health Awareness Week. In our ever-growing, consuming digital world, it couldn’t be a more pertinent topic to explore.
Social media is a bittersweet platform in this situation. Whilst it provides us endless opportunities to connect and maintain relationships with loved ones at the other side of the world, it’s also a portal to the world of unrealistic expectation and body standards. The Mental Health Foundation, in their latest campaign, explore this in greater depth and look at what we can do to tackle negative portrayals of body image. A full report of their findings can be downloaded here.
Through online surveys they conducted in 2019 of 4,505 UK adults 18+, the Mental Health Foundation with YouGov uncovered some truly heart wrenching statistics. For example, ‘One in five adults (20%) felt shame, just over one third (34%) felt down or low, and 19% felt disgusted because of their body image in the last year’ (Mental Health Foundation, 2019). This is devastating! It also highlights that action is needed to promote positivity surrounding how society handles the topic of body image.
The Mental Health Foundation sets out some key recommendations, a summary of which can be found here. Some of these include:
– Individually being more aware of how we can take care of ourselves and others in relation to body image.
– The need for commitment from social media companies to play a key role in promoting body kindness.
If you’re looking for more information about body image, head to The Mental Health Foundation, who have some excellent tips, advice and resources.
https://www.mentalhealth.org.uk/publications/body-image-report/exec-summary [Accessed 14/05/2019]