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Do I have to look perfect?

Body image

How does body image affect you?

We have been discussing body image in our Club.  We wanted to explore how we form our ideas about how we look.  We also talked about whether body image affects mental health. 

We think body image is not only a big issue for girls and young women but for women throughout their lives.  Do you agree?

Girlguiding’s annual Girls’ Attitudes survey backs up our view about young girls.  This year’s report will come out soon but The Guardian wrote about some of the results on 27 August 2020:

“A third of girls and young women will not post selfies online without using a filter or app to change their appearance, while a similar proportion have deleted photos with too few “likes” or comments, research has found.

About half regularly alter their photos to enhance their appearance online and “find acceptance.

Thirty-four per cent of 11 to 21-year-olds said they would not post a photo of themselves online without using a filter or app to enhance it first, with older girls more likely to say this.”

BBC News further reported on 2 September 2020 that Girlguiding UK is calling for enhanced photos to be labelled as such on social media.  More on this BBC article here

We sent the results of our Club’s exploration of body image to the Women and Equalities Committee in the House of Commons. It is part of the evidence that will help Parliament to take its decisions.  Our discussions were based on these questions:

    • What contributed to a positive image when you were young?       What contributed to a negative image when you were young?
    • How did your body image change through to the age you are now?
      • Did you forget about or improve a negative image, and if so how?
      • Did you keep a positive image, or did new negative aspects come as you aged?
    • Current trends in aspiring to the perfect image
    • Social media: positive or negative impacts on body image
      • Effect of an ad or campaign
      • Effect of messages posted by friends?
      • Effect of messages posted by celebrities?
      • Content promoting diets, eating disorders, diet culture: positive or negative for body image?
      • Content promoting cosmetic surgery/interventions: positive or negative for body image?
      • What do you think about the diversity of images companies and the media show?
      • How likely is body image to affect mental health

Contact us here if you would like to see our report.  You can also message us on FB and Twitter.

Women and Equalities Committee  

Perfection in a rose

The Women and Equalities Committee of the House of Commons  has an inquiry called ‘Changing the Perfect Picture’ about perceptions of body image. The Committee invited members of the public and organisations to submit evidence by 26 June 2020.  

The House of Commons Committee wants to find out if government policy should change.  Is enough being done to ensure diversity of the images shown on television and other forms of media?  Do we see ourselves reflected in what we see?  Are people being pushed too much to have the perfect body?

Find out more about the inquiry here

Find out more about our projects and activities here: Soroptimist Action

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