Support & advice for parents on body image concerns
Support and advice on body image concerns
The National Mental Health charity, Young Minds, provide the following useful summary about what is meant by the term ‘Body image’:
“Body image is how we think and feel about ourselves physically, and how we believe others see us.
When we talk about body image, there are lots of ways we can think about our body and the way we look. You might find that there are times when you like your body, or parts of your body, and times when you struggle with how you look. Body image is not just about our weight, it can also be things like:
- comparing how you look with friends or people you follow on social media.
- struggling to love and accept your body.
- feeling as though your body shape is not represented in the media.
- hiding your body because you feel ashamed by it.
- struggling to find clothes for your body, particularly if you have a physical disability.
- feeling misunderstood about your body when people make assumptions about things like, why you might need a wheelchair.
- feeling like you are not attractive enough.
- birthmarks, surgery scars or acne affecting how you feel about how you look,
- feeling as though your body does not match your gender.
Poor body image is characterised by body dissatisfaction (not liking one’s appearance), excessive preoccupation with appearance, overvaluation (placing disproportionate value on one’s appearance in evaluations of self-worth) and attempts to change one’s appearance due to body dissatisfaction.
The following resources help promote positive body image and reduce body dissatisfaction across all groups. This information can also be found on JustTalk
RESOURCES FOR YOUNG PEOPLE
- Kooth: 11-25yr online counselling support, including around body image and eating concerns.
- Young Minds website
- Information on the Young Minds website in relation to mental health from the perspective of racism, sexuality, and gender. These, and other resources can be found here.
- The Mix: Essential support for under 25s
- ‘The Body Image Book for Girls, Love Yourself and Grow Up Fearless’ by Dr Markey for 9-15yrs.
- 'A guide to safe binding' - LGBT Foundation
- 'Social media - Friend or Foe' - A guide to help address your concerns about body image, eating disorders and mental health.
RESOURCES FOR PARENTS
- The Dove ‘Uniquely Me’ toolkit is a useful resource for parents and carers to help build their child/children’s self-esteem: Uniquely Me – Dove Self-Esteem Project
- Young Minds: ‘Ten tips for talking to your child about their use of social media and the internet’
- MindEd offer a range of free e-learning modules for parents/carers. Some relevant ones are listed below: