Body Confidence Hits an All Time Low

Society often hearkens back to childhood as a blissful time, free of the worries and cares that plague us as adults. I remember being seven. I didn’t care about looking pretty. I didn’t think about how what I wore would make me look to others. One day I even went to church in a luminous green swimming costume and pink jelly shoes. I refused to go out of the house in anything else and my Mum gave up trying to persuade me otherwise. And looking back, having the confidence to do that at a young age was a blissful time.

(Photo Credit: BBC)

But, according to Girl Guide UK, even these few years of blissful ignorance are being taken away from young girls. A third of seven year old girls believe that they are judged on their appearance and a quarter feel the need to be perfect. It seems that girls are suffering from a crisis in body confidence. This negative body image is having a devastating impact on the things that really important. Their talents. Their uniqueness. Their thoughts. More than a third of seven year old girls are aware that women are rated more on their appearance than their abilities, but 36% said they were made to feel their looks are the most important thing about themselves. And worryingly, it isn’t just about how pretty girls believe themselves to be that consumes their time. The survey also showed that half of the girls interviewed felt they needed to lose weight. It doesn’t take a scientist to work out this preoccupation about body shape can spiral out of control into eating disorders and other mental health problems which can rob girls of their childhood (Source: Girl Guiding UK). 

(Photo Credit: BBC)

And what’s behind this decrease in body confidence? All the usual culprits. Social media. Celebrities. Increased perfectionism. But the scary thing is that there seems to be no nationwide initiative to try and change this alarming descent into body obsession. I think it might be time for a change in education in schools. If we can’t do anything to stop this paranoia around appearance there should at least be infrastructures in girls’ environment to build resilience to the awful pressures and attitudes girls face. Personally, I think that giving up a few lessons in order not only to help girls combat negative feelings, but to appreciate their bodies for their potential to help them achieve, would be no bad thing. 

(Photo Credit: Pinterest)