Last Tuesday Essex based TV presenter Stacey Solomon and Dame Esther Rantzen heard from Childline counsellors about why so many young people are feeling unhappy with their appearance.
The majority of these counselling sessions (88%) were with girls – the youngest aged 11 – who were concerned about their weight, having acne or not being ‘body perfect’.
Exposure to ‘body perfect’ images on TV, in magazines and across social media is cited as one of the reasons why girls in particular are so unhappy with their appearance.
These issues were heightened when the individual also suffered bullying at school and online, driving some victims to try and change the way they look.
A number of young people who were counselled by Childline about how they look also revealed that they were struggling with self-esteem issues, depression and eating disorders such as anorexia and bulimia.
Stacey said: “Visiting Childline today and hearing from counsellors about how many young people are suffering from low body confidence and self-esteem is scary.
“Young people are being bombarded with supposedly ‘body perfect’ images on TV and across social media which is contributing to anxiety over their own appearance. It was inspirational to hear from Childline counsellors about how they give the armoury to young people to help build their confidence. It’s fantastic this service is there to support them.”
Any adult concerned about the welfare of a child or young person can call the NSPCC helpline, 24/7, on 0808 800 5000. Children can call Childline at any time on 0800 111. Visit www.childline.org.uk or download the ‘For Me’ app.