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Does the UK need body image lessons?

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It's a worrying matter that young children already at the age of five are worried about their body image, whether their belly isn’t flat enough or whether their friends have nicer hair. In our society, the age we create a negative body image for ourselves starts extremely early.

The All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) made an enquiry after evidence was heard that more than half of the public have a distorted negative self body image. 

Yet our ‘fatty issues’ are being blamed on the media for idolising skinny bodies that are unrealistic and unhealthy.

However the media does seem to work with such issues as Pinterest has banned any publication of ‘Thinspo’ boards, and Vogue have decided to only work with healthy models.

Plastic surgery has been on the increase by 20% since 2008 despite our current recession, including surgery for tummy tucks, liposuction and fat transfers.

The UK editor of Vogue magazine, Alexandra Shulman, said on the BBC: "We can make a difference but won't change things overnight."

There seems to be a light at the end of this dark tunnel, but emotional, mental and physical issues are not easily stamped out.  As a result of our nationwide body dissatisfaction, it leads to damaging factors affecting our health, relationship problems and low-self esteem. It causes a major block of progression for children at school and those at work with one in five people having been victimised due to their weight.

The Reflections on Body Image report showed that children are affected by their primary sources like their parents and direct family, and that they were the main influence as their children often reflected similar body-related anxieties as their parents. However, peer groups formed a stronger influence over children at secondary school with appearance being the greatest cause of bullying in schools.

Half of girls, the report states, and up to a third of boys have dieted to lose weight. 1.6 million people in the UK have eating disorders and one in three men would sacrifice a year of their life to achieve their ideal body.

The UK is suffering heavily under these negative body issues, the representation of the ideal woman has been misshaped and formed an unreal illusion.

The media may play an affecting role within this issue but they are working on forming a more inspirational image of role models. The ‘perfect’ body image has been printed into the head of many people that if not dealt with correctly can lead to unhealthy consequences. As Marilyn Monroe once said: “Wanting to be someone else is a waste of the person you are.”

We here at TNS would like to know what your opinion is on this topic?




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