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Opinion: We should be teaching kids about body positivity

Spreading body positivity is a way of speaking about body image and how it affects mental health and well-being.

Having a negative body image can lead to health risks physically and mentally with depression and eating disorders effecting more people everyday.

Some would argue that it is not important for topics like this to be added to the school curriculum, however teaching students body positivity, and how to love themselves regardless of what society and pop culture trends are out.

I feel like adding more body positivity sessions into the education system would help students to love their bodies and to not compare themselves to others but sharing information on making health choice’s in their relationships, food choices, exercise , self-care, health and exercise.

Schools already have the safe environment and bonds with students so they can feel comfortable sharing thought and feelings on the topic. I think this will really benefit students mental health as they have a bond with the students over a five to seven year period.

If young people are unhappy with their body then they often look to try make themselves feel better by crazy diets and exercise, however when they are doing this they are aiming for an unrealistic body type.

The digital world and reality TV programmes constantly show a younger audience beautiful slim, perfect models as either main characters or reality stars. So having a set time during the academic day to reflect on body positivity could improve student’s help to ensure they are comfortable in their own skin.

It is normal for people to compare themselves to others but in a school environment I feel like it is a-lot more prominent with students feeling as if they are not good enough.

photo credit – unsplash

A survey conducted by the mental health organisation showed that 11-  16 year olds in the UK found that 79 per cent said ‘how they look is important to them and over half 52 per cent often worry how they look. And in a survey of people aged 13- 19, 35 per cent said their body image causes them too ‘often’ or ‘always’ worry.’

This research suggests to me that a-lot of young people are not confident in themselves and peers and social media are playing a more reinforcing role the we think.

If you look at the types of reality shows that are targeted at a young audience but also what a young audience watch most the characters or reality stars are slim ladies and muscular men. For example if you look at the popular reality programme Love Island, its set in a Spain so all episodes are filled with women walking round in bikinis. this can be hard for you girls to watch as they may not be able to relate to any of these women.

I do believe that it would be beneficial for school’s to add body positivity lessons or sessions to the education curriculum not only in secondary school but also primary education as they have such a dominance in student life.

Talk to health specialist or you GP if you are worried about your mental health, if you need immediate help visit your local A&E

Feature imagePhoto Credit – Pexel Photo by- Arthur Krijgsman: