Have pandemic pressures increased body image issues among the under 25s?
Here are the news headlines…
- “Teenage girls, body image and Instagram’s ‘perfect storm”
- “We make body image issues worse for one in three teen girls”
- “Alarming new report shows just how toxic Instagram is for body image”
- “Facebook has stopped plans to launch Instagram Kids”.
This paints a picture of a problem that is spiralling out of control. Our young people are being played by the marketeers, the press, the advertisers, and social media.
Here at Spark To Your Success we have a suspicion that the pressures caused by the pandemic have made young people feel even worse on the inside about how they look on the outside.
We want to take the temperature of the nation’s young people and see what’s really going on – AND WE NEED YOUR HELP.
Our thermometer? The Body Image Barometer – a simple, confidential, anonymous survey which takes less than 7 minutes to complete and will measure how mentally pressured young people feel right now.
The number of children aged 11 to 17 who suffer problems with eating has almost doubled since 2017 according to the NHS Mental Health of Children and Young People survey published in 2021. This research also found 1 in 6 children in England now have a mental health problem.
Post-lockdown, what impact has school closures and social isolation REALLY had on body image among the under 25’s, a group who typically moderate their mood through interaction with their peers?
“A 15-year-old sat on my sofa told me the greatest gift I could give her through my coaching was to make her feel happier about her body as she hated it.
“I saw a sparkly blue-eyed girl with great hair, beautiful skin and a lovely personality in front of me, but she meant every word she said about hating her body. She simply couldn’t see what I could see.
“It breaks my heart when you see a young person who’s so amazing feeling not good enough because they don’t look a certain way, and I’m devastated when I hear of a young person who has attempted suicide because their sense of self-worth is so low.
“The pandemic has been so hard on mental health with everyone spending less time out socially and way more time on social media, and it’s time to raise awareness of what’s real and what isn’t.
“That’s why I’m reaching out to ask for your support now to help us share The Body Image Barometer with every young person under 25 who you know, work with and care for.”
We want The Body Image Barometer to reach more than 2,000 young people and provide a body of research to support organisations working with young people. Together, we can lobby the government for appropriate support to help challenge the toxic narratives being pushed upon our young people.
We want you!
Youth leaders, Scout leaders, Girl Guides, teachers, sports clubs, YMCA, Air Cadets, Prince’s Trust groups, NUS officers, student clubs, tutors, lecturers – in fact, anyone who works or has contact with young people to help spread the word and share our survey.
AND as a thank you for your help in creating this important piece of social research, we will share all our data with you to support your own campaigns and causes.
The Body Image Barometer – simple, confidential, anonymous, and quick to complete. Please share this link: https://bib21.sparktoyoursuccess.co.uk/
A huge thank you for your support, and we look forward to sharing the findings with you and empowering our young people to live their best life.